Friday, January 16, 2009

it's an extra large friday

it's an extra large friday because we have a long weekend. the holiday and then two work days to try and get some things done. i've been working on updating the school website and i've been grading papers and i've been twittering and skype chatting and now i'm blogging. am i a web 2.0 teacher or what?
our students are working on reflection papers. they are reflecting on how they have changed so far this year based on a semester at our school. one of the questions that they have to answer for this reflection asks "what talents or skills have you discovered that you have?" one of my students wrote that she has discovered that she can take beautiful pictures. that's a nice thing to discover at school.
i think this is important. as schools evolve and change with the times, students are discovering more things. not only about themselves but they are discovering some of the ideas and learning that we need them to know. they are discovering new skills.
i think back to the days of the one room schoolhouse and rote learning and memorization and then i fast forward to today. the old paradigm was that we will tell you what you must remember and be able to recite. the new paradigm is something else. we still are telling them what they have to learn to a certain degree, state standards, objectives, etc. and we want them to know these things and we are going to test them on some multiple choice assessment. and of course, i'm not sure about that testing part.
but the how we are getting there is changing. i can literally hand my students the standard course of study now and tell them to prove to me that they know it. and they make brochures, and videos, and powerpoints and other things. they are beginning to get there on their own. i give them a destination and they figure out how best they want to get there.
that's exciting. where are we and how are we going to move forward? isn't that what we are all wondering?

1 comment:

geoff said...

The last school I worked at was much like the old paradigm...other than being more than one room. THe students often referred to the school as a "prison".

I feel like the New Schools (at least ours) is truly ATTEMPTING to change things based on research AND how students learn. I often feel like there are still several things inhibiting the kind of teaching I want to do, but in reality...I have more freedom and more success than I ever have before.

It's exciting that I'm still so young because I wonder what a school house will look like when I retire.