image courtesy of Craig Taylor This past spring, our school’s digital learning team completed a year of professional development through Powerful Learning Practice (PLP). As a final activity, we were asked to design an action research project.
Talking on Skype On the first day of grade one, as we were thinking about our goals for the year, my students and I talked on Skype with three people who lived in different places around North America.
Image courtesy of AJ Cann This past year, I participated in PLP (Powerful Learning Practice) and made some significant changes in the way I teach and the tools I use. I feel my students truly benefited from the shift I began to make.
One of the most infuriating aspects of the discussion about education reform or change has been that there really hasn’t been a discussion. Money and power have trumped experience for far too many years now with the media and the U.S. Department of Education rushing uncritically to get every quote and opinion from billionaires and politicians, while worse helping them label anyone with an opposing or experienced opinion as being for the “status quo” or not having the best interests of children in mind.
Are you are already convinced that your students need to learn how to connect, collaborate and learn with others online? Are you longing for your classroom to echo with the sounds of kids asking questions of others who live far away?
I love the first day of school, as much now as when I was a child. The reason I love it so much? I have an inquiry classroom. I teach chemistry and biology, both are inquiry and project-based. However, it looks different in each class.
Small changes can have big effects Back in late spring, I found myself standing in front of a group of “new” high school teachers in the Diocese of Harrisburg (PA). They ranged in age from wee babes to second careerists.
One of my favorite teachers told me once that he dressed the way that he did — jackets, ties, and other business attire — because he wanted us to know that, while he was our teacher, he was not our friend.
The atmosphere felt very different in my classroom a few weeks ago, as I began the hard work of teaching by getting out of the way. I’ve always done inquiry science, but it has been more teacher-directed than I wanted.
I think all teachers must have times when they’re faced with the decision to continue on the safe road that they know, or radically depart on a way that they believe to be better, but the specific route and outcomes are unknown. At least I’ve been faced with this decision. And in all honesty, sometimes I’ve chosen the former, and sometimes the latter. Although for the last five months, I’ve consistently chosen the latter, and they have been the most challenging and fulfilling five months of my career.
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