I’ve recently discovered Dan Meyer, a young teacher sharing his first years of teaching on the Web. His blog makes very interesting reading and viewing; he has recently recorded a series of videos detailing his experiences thus far; he cleverly, and with expert film-making flair, demonstrates the effort he puts into his teaching and shows us the creative techniques he employs to make the teaching of maths interesting for his students.
I admire Dan; he shares. I’ve always liked teachers who share. They are often the natural teachers, the ones who have abilty to convey meaning and who aren’t afraid to learn alongside their students. In a recent post Dan has shared his entire Geometry curriculum with his readers and encourages people to share it with others. There should be more of this in the teaching profession; we are all reinventing the wheel in our own schools over and over again. Why not work together, collaborate, share. Demonstrate the kind of risk taking with our learning that we expect from our students.
Tomorrow I’m going to be engaging in the learning process with my students. We are having our Year 7 students create digital stories that will capture the experiences and memories of past students of the school. Some of these stories go back decades. It promises to be very interesting and memorable for our students. I’m nervous about the technology and the possibilities of things not going well but that’s part and parcel of the learning journey we’re on. I know I’m going to learn a lot in the next couple of days and so are my students -we’re in it together.
Dan’s latest post ‘The First Fortnight’, talks of dealing with the difficult student who demands attention. He provides some pretty good strategies that young teachers could pay heed too. What I like most about the post is the last paragraph;
I’m also realizing with this new group of students exactly how tight last year’s class and I became, and something else which is nice to realize and never a guarantee: that the time we spent together wasn’t meaningless.
A good thing to realise. The connectedness you have with your class at the end of a year is a special thing; I’m feeling it now with my Yr 7 group. I’m already pondering the wrench I’m going to feel when I have to relinquish them to someone else. They’re a special group of kids; the work they have produced of late has been outstanding. Their creative stories have blown me away. Can’t keep them forever though; they’d get sick of my stories and need exposure to the ideas of others. I will miss them though.
Do yourself a favour and take a read of Dan’s blog; well worth the visit.