I’m trying to get back into the swing of things now that I’m back from 3 weeks away from my networked existence. I did have a few opportunities to dip into the pool, but they were very quick forays into the shallow end. No deep immersion. Have to jump back in without checking if the water is warm.
Part of the dive back in is getting myself immersed in the ning site that supports the Powerful Learning Practice cohort my school is part of. I feel remiss for not fulfilling my end of the deal, but it was just too hard trying to update the blog for parents with the little time for the internet that we had when we had retired to our rooms (or Starbucks during the day!).
One of the forum discussions has asked us to think back to our best and worst teachers and think about how we learn best. Here is the reply I posted;
My best teachers. Mr. Peterson, Mr. Maughan and Mrs. Underwood. All were chalk and talk teachers for the most part, but they took an interest in me and made me feel that my opinions were valued.
Worst Teachers. Can’t remember their names. They were paycheque teachers who didn’t care for my opinions and didn’t make me feel involved in the subject matter.
How do I learn best. Connection, connection, connection. For me, learning is about relationship building. If I feel that someone is interested in my thoughts and want to encourage me in my learning I will go the extra mile for them. That’s been my experience as a teacher also. I invest time in finding out about the kids I teach; I think it makes a difference. If they know that I care they will do more for me. I’m convinced of that.
How do I learn outside of school now? I take the initiative and search the web for answers. I use my connections, connections, connections. My friends in this online world are the best sharers I’ve ever met.
I liked reflecting on my learning experiences. I still think that taking an interest in the kids you teach is the most powerful thing you can do as a teacher. You don’t need technology to help you with that. You need an open personality and a desire to make a meaningful difference. What I find exciting about teaching now is that I know how to make more meaningful connections for my students with teachers and potentially other students, who have open personalities and a desire to make a meaningful difference. Opening my students minds to the world by connecting with people rather than words on a page is a pretty exciting possibility. This is all about human interaction.