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Posts Tagged ‘Teaching’

“If we teach today like we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.”

John Dewey

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.”

by Socrates

Challenges are good for us, even if we don’t always want to admit it.  For this reason I am thankful for the 30 Goals Challenge. I am thankful for the goals, ideas, and reflections that have all been a part of this. If I am to take this experience seriously, then I can’t ignore this challenge, a global communications challenge, one that I haven’t actively attacked as a World Language teacher. Sounds like a given, huh? It’s not as easy as it seems.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that one of my duties as a World Language teacher is to show my students a glimpse into the world outside their immediate community, outside of their direct sphere of experience. That knowledge will hopefully help them understand other peoples and perhaps themselves a bit more.

Making that actual connection, however, with the global community is a big step. It’s finding the connection, finding a means with which to communicate from both ends, dealing with time differences, school district red tape, etc. There’s a lot to do, lot of hurdles that I haven’t even tried to jump. So, when posed with the challenge of actual global communication my response is: but, umm…

So, once again, I would like to thank Shelly Terrell and the 30 Goals Challenge for posing this to us.  It’s not just that the challenge brings to the forefront something that I have been shoving to the bottom of the pile. It’s that the challenge also provides us with examples and resource ideas to start from.  My first step: start exploring these resources. My end goal: providing my students the opportunity to communicate with someone across the globe.

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“The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. ”

by John Lubbock

Some quick thoughts about learning and online professional development:

  • Everyone can learn
  • Not everyone learns in the same way
  • Learning is a life-long process
  • I hope to inspire my students to want to learn
  • As a teacher, I should help my students learn how to learn
  • I need to model learning for my students
  • I need to show my students purpose
  • I can learn from my students, too
  • I hope to establish an environment of trust and safety in our classroom
  • Learning has changed with innovation. As educators we need to not only acknowledge this, but embrace it. Our students have!
  • Professional Development has also changed with innovation
  • Online professional development has allowed me to stretch beyond my own community and learn from so many other around the world
  • Online PD allows me to see many more perspectives than just those I see around me
  • Online PD has motivated me so much more than I thought possible!

The long-term challenge: In what ways will I ensure that my beliefs about how students learn are reflected in the classroom?

One step towards this goal is reflecting in my blog and another is participating in the online community for this challenge. The blog provides a place for me to reflect on my goals and review them as necessary. The online community provides a place for me to collaborate, share and reflect with others on the same journey.  While the connection to the classroom may not be blatant, it is still there. The connection is me.  The classroom, the blog, the community – I am a part of all of these things and all of these things are tools to be used to keep the focus when the educational demands become overwhelming.

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A friend was asking about my blog. As he was reading the title (or at least trying to correctly pronounce the German), it occurred to me that there may be others out there who also had no idea to what I am referring.  Sturm und Drang, as defined by Merriam-Webster is “a late 18th century German literary movement characterized by works containing rousing action and high emotionalism that often deal with the individual’s revolt against society.”

Most of the time I like to use this term to describe periods of my own personal life.  I find that personally a little amusing. Naming my blog this, to which I ascribe my reflections on teaching and learning, brings the title into a new light. While a part of me envies those who produce “rousing action” and can bring their “high emotionalism” to a productive result, I don’t find myself there at this point.  I am also not an individual known for “revolt[ing] against society.” There are those who might call me a “wannabe,” but I would dare to differ on that account.

I am a passionate individual. Teaching and Learning are two of my passions. I have spent years living and working within my own little ecosystem of the educational world.  I am only now searching and finding ways to expand out of that system and into/within others.  Revolting against society, the educational society, is not my plan: working from within to help myself and others grow is.

While I doubt anyone will find me marching with picket-signs, I do hope that I am becoming someone who fosters action and passion in the classroom, school, District, State, and among each other.

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Yes, you read that correctly. Teaching to the 20th Century is the intended title. It refers to the fear that some educators have of teaching towards what is to come. Our students have to live in a world that has yet to be defined or really formed: the world is changing and developing so rapidly that we don’t know what they will need to be able to do and how they will be accomplishing these unknown tasks. We are so accustomed to directly teaching what is already known at them. The idea that we need to guide them into a yet undefined world is frightening. It’s a step away from what is known and secure into a place where outcomes may not be predictable.

This video, Shift Happens, on Karl Fisch’s blog illustrates this changing world in a simple and to-the-point manner. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. If you have, watch it again and examine what you are doing in your classroom.

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