I am at a point in my career where it would be easy to start taking teaching for granted and just go with the flow/do the same old thing. I refuse to let this happen. I am determined to not be that kind of teacher. To not teach a lesson/unit the way that I have because it has worked before, but rather, to actively think about what I am doing, the rationale behind it and adapt/shift/change as needed.
This term I have taught very differently.
(Read: I have taken a lot of risks.)
It is incredible! I love teaching more than ever!
I have really pushed myself, including beginning genius hour in my classroom, blogging regularly with my students, encouraging students to BYOD and letting them take the reigns regarding what their reading projects and homework should look like.
I have let go of a lot of control, and it hasn't been easy. There are times when I think to myself, "what am I doing?" but thankfully those are greatly out numbered by the times that I hear students say:
- "I know how to do that. Let me help you" to their classmate.
- "Can we comment on each other's blogs for homework?"
- "Let's look it up", as they pull out their own smart device.
At the last Pro D Day, I went to a lecture given by David Warlick. He reminded us that " This time of rapid change is forcing us, for the first time in decades to rethink education and what it means to be educated."
I think that is very important. We need to change the way we teach and perhaps sometimes try teaching less, and instead show our students how to teach themselves and each other. We can all do this more often. Sometimes it is as easy as stepping back and asking, "How do you think we should do it?"
I would love to hear about how other teachers give students choice and provide authentic learning experiences!