TRANSFORMING LEARNING FROM THE GROUND UP
Ready or not, the way of learning, working and living has changed for many. Our employers expect us to work, while schools expect us to teach, and our children expect us to entertain them. The way we maneuver through this pandemic will look different for everyone. Here are a few ways I have learned to cope with the reality of becoming a full-time work from home mom…and now a teacher.
When you walk into a teacher’s physical classroom, it’s brimming with personality. From posters of a favorite college or sports team to colorful displays of student work, you can tell a lot about the teacher just by walking into the room.
If I rewind back just four short weeks and one blink-of-an-eye day ago to March 12, I can remember that school day vividly. I was scheduled to host a community shadow from our Corporation Vision 2020. This is a program that has been in place for many years, where community members are invited to come into our schools and witness first-hand what is happening inside our walls.
You are probably sad and frustrated today, and I am grieving with you. A retired air traffic controller I knew who tutored high school math students lost his fight against COVID-19 three weeks ago. Doug was tough and selfless with kids, and he changed their lives. I think of his wonderful spirit, and I mourn with dedicated educators across this state who now face daily battles against this horrific pandemic.
An unexpected box of Oreos, Doritos, Party Pizzas, and Peanut Butter M&M’s all make their way into my cart. Not one of these items was on my list and, while delicious, are not things that I’ll feel good about eating. We’ve all walked into the grocery store hungry and know that feeling of giving in to temptation all too well. In these uncharted times of remote learning, we are asked to design for learning and instruction in ways we’ve never done before, and because of this… We, as educators, are all very hungry.
One of the most commonly asked questions I get from districts, leaders, and especially teachers is as simple as it is complex: How do we get our students to improve their short answer response?
As educators, we hear and learn all types of instructional strategies to support student learning. Something we may not be aware of is how these strategies align with the various phases of learning. Visible Learning research has introduced three phases of learning: Surface, Deep and Transfer.
If there’s one overarching request from teachers, it’s the plea for more clarity. Specifically, they are desperate for building and district leaders to communicate vital information and initiative implementation.
We are trained as educators to be the content experts. We’re told in our pre-service preparation that we are the conveyor of knowledge, and our job is to impart that knowledge to our students. I would argue, after 30 years in education, that is NOT our job.
Stop for a moment and ask yourself this question: When was the last time I took a risk? How you choose to define risk is entirely up to you, but I would venture to say that each of us has varying connotations of the meaning of the word.
One of the most misunderstood words in our educational vocabulary is scaffolding. What does it mean to scaffold for a student? Does it mean I should give him or her less? Should I break it down for the student into tiny pieces? The answer to both of those questions is, NO!
What is audacity and why this, why now? Audacity is the courage to be bold. I have always associated courage with bravery and noble acts. I never really thought about the necessary presence of fear to create courage.