Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Read Later

What is the difference? Are we limiting kids when we call them students as opposed to learners. What about educators? How many of us see ourselves as students? Isn't it a goal to be a life-long learner?

I welcome the chance to catch up on some reading over the break. At times during the work week articles, updates and recommended texts get placed in "Read Later" pile. Winter break provides an opportunity to reflect upon past practices and goals and consider establishing new challenges for the upcoming year. It cannot be stated enough on how educators have to see themselves as learners. Accepting the status quo is comfortable but it stands in the way of progress. The passion needs to come from within to be progressive and constantly evaluate the way things are done.

Here's to a peaceful break and hopefully, everyone can find time to make a dent in the read later pile.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Changing Roles in the Classroom

I received the following response from a teacher. The reply was in response to a weekly podcast I send out to departments I oversee. I was touched by the teacher's genuine and reflective commentary.

"I was glad to hear you say that it was a good thing that the line between teacher and student was being blurred in some instances. For I found that that was the case with my classes last week. They did a research and presentation project that used technology that I had never manipulated before. Even though I "tutored" myself before we started the project, I still had to turn to them several times in order to have them teach me. Thus, it was as much of a learning experience for me as it was for them."

The last line of the response was refreshing. Classrooms need to be a place where all participants learn and grow. Without that standard, it is impossible to foster a learning environment that is authentic, challenging, meaningful and rewarding.