Now vs Then

Moving through EDLD courses I feel myself being pulled towards the then of teaching. The waaaaay back then when I first started…5 years ago! Integrating technology into my classroom seems so modern NOW. My students are utilizing chromebooks every single day for assignments and learning extensions. Thinking back to my first year of teaching I feel slightly nauseous to think about having to add anything else to my plate THEN. Logging on daily doesn’t feel brand new. It feels normal, expected and easy NOW. Weird how much can change in 5 short years. Willingness to accept change is a struggle most people resonate with. Will the change be for the good of the students or the benefit of teachers? Is it a change that will be around for extended amount of time? I know using technology THEN would not have been what I’m capable of NOW.

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Digital Standardized Testing?

What does that even look like at such a massive level? As we move into our benchmark week and closer to our state standardized test, I run scenarios through the thinker about all of the what if’s. I know this is a probable outcome within the next few years and it’s a mix of concern and optimism

Concern sometimes outweighs the optimism in my brain. My kids need pencil to paper. Studies have shown it it increases their ability to retrieve and transfer information for mathematical computations. Take that away and I’m forcing my kids to compute in their heads. Are they disciplined enough to do what they know? Will we regret the change?

Learner of all the things…..from all the people

Is there really any point in trying to learn all by yourself? Yeah there’s always someone doing the teaching, but is that all we need? Moving through EDLD 5303 and 5305 would be 100% impossible without the people constantly offering their expertise and thoughts. Consistent feedback and questioning is what I need as a learner.

Something as simple as creating a blog. Had no idea where to start, how to start, or if I was even capable of doing so. The level of capability has increased as the weeks have ticked by but the where and how didn’t come from my own doings. At times I feel like we just need confirmation that what we are actually thinking is in fact what we are actually thinking! Sometimes our conversations are deep enough that I get lost in the aftermath of research reading and don’t resurface for hours. Sometimes are conversations are as simple as the image above!

I interrupt this reading ……

Moment of panic occurred Sunday. I was pretty positive I had deleted my entire site! Still not sure what exactly happened but it made me think about how this is all backed up or saved. I originally started my site on another hosting site and plowed through for about a week before hitting my limit of confusion and deciding to switch. The switch was easier than I thought it would be but possibly because I had hardly any content uploaded. Majority of my work was thematic and presentation style. Still, I was so very hesitant to completely delete everything on it when I switched. Pretty positive it’s still active! I’m very much a paper trail kind of person…..technology doesn’t offer that.

Is my school afraid?

I recently watch the Ted Talk with Azul Terronez where is poses the question on what makes a good teacher great. He mentions that schools don’t tend to ask students this because they are afraid. Afraid of what? The truth? Afraid of having to listen to the voice of an 8 year old confidently say what they need from us?

For the past 5 years I have felt like I’ve given teaching in room 2036 my best. My best time, dedication after school hours, extra professional development. Content focused growth opportunities. Do these extra things, my best, correlate to making me a great teacher?

The physical act of doing is not where it is. It’s found in the thinking, making connections, building relationships. Students don’t need another content “expert”. They need someone who is willing to get into the nitty gritty of the why and the how. Someone that understands there’s more to learning than just going through the process. Move past the assumptions of kids “nowadays”.

How would my students answer that question? Am I meeting their needs? Expectations? Or would they teach me more with one answer than I will in an entire year?

“A great teacher loves to teach. A great teacher loves to learn.”

No feedback?

I cannot think of a time when I approached something in my life with the expectation of receiving feedback from whomever was involved. I never thought of feedback as anything other than precise criticism that was meant to help. What I always received though wasn’t as beneficial as I had longed for. My course work through Lamar has changed that focus for me. Not feedback, but feedFORWARD. Positive critiques that aren’t just mean to be helpful….they actually are! When I rewired how my brain thought about communicating with another person about their thoughts, processes, product, etc. I found that I can be much more specific and helpful if I take the time to to find the positive parts and then make suggestions. Why go back? Move FORWARD!

Half an Hour

I find myself blocking my day into half hour chunks. Half hour conferences. Half hour lunch. Half hour PE and music. Half an hour to gather my sanity and put my life together. Some days half an hour is more than enough but most days it doesn’t even begin to scrape the top of what I need. Might be time for a mindset change. Tomorrow I have half an hour to soak up the sun while my students are at PE. Tomorrow I have half an hour to enjoy my lunch and converse with adults. Tomorrow I get a half hour to enjoy the chaos of life these days.

To Tech or Not to Tech?

We’ve all felt the push from admin and state execs to include technology into the classroom. Add more. No wait…studies show it’s bad for kids. But wait…it’s good for education. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Dizzy yet?

As educators make their way through an unimaginable year that brought changes no one could have ever foreseen, we are slowly starting to hit the go button a little more frequently. But are we doing it right? Is using more technology in the classroom what’s best for kids, considering they definitely max out on screen time at home?

What if we use it in a way that creates learning environments that students WANT to learn from and are then able to make meaningful connects? Imagine a student creating a digital version of their hand drawn book and being able to tell a story to someone thousands of miles away. Creating portfolios that capture all of their learning milestones a memories that are easily accessible with a quick click.

The stop and go will always be a part of our job. Growing confident in knowing when to go is where the change is.

It Takes A Village

I can remember working my way through undergrad school and feeling like I had to do it all on my own. After all it was my degree right? If I had to have a group to get me through it was it even something I should even be doing.

I was wrong. What I’m learning is that it’s the group that makes this all connect! It’s the group conversations that allow the articles and books and confusion to finally settle and begin to flow together smoothly. The beauty of it all is I don’t feel like I’m just taking. I haven’t realized until this semester just how much I have to offer. Humor–check. Sarcasm–check check. Insight-check.

We started our group chats and weekly zoom meetings hoping that we could all just make it through the 8 weeks and be done. What I don’t think we realized then was just how nice the friendships would be and how much we would need our Village.