Taking Chances

When OSSEMOOC started the month of April with 30 Days of Learning in Ontario asking us to share what we had learned that day I had many ideas running through my head about what I could share. I could tell you face-to-face exactly what they were and what affect they had on me, however, I could not write about them. We are always challenging our students to reflect and yet the only reflection I had was the person staring back at me in the mirror too afraid to open up to her peers.

I have been an educator for over 30 years starting when the Formative Years, Education in the Primary and Junior Divisions (1975) was the first year teacher’s bible. While there have been many changes in paradigms from teacher centered learning to multidirectional teaching the child has always been the center of focus, aside from the fairly short lived objective-based model. Today we see a shift from what a child will learn to how a child will learn. 21st Century skills, especially those of collaboration are helping drive student centred learning.

One day this week I had the pleasure of instructing two classes on how to use the Provincial virtual learning environment. One was a grade 2/3 class the other a grade 12 class. I learned a few things that day:

1. When technology is involved students want to do not watch.
2. Supply the students with the bare essentials and let them run with it.
3. It is hard to try something new when you are used to doing things a specific way.

Number three is the reason I am writing. I cannot expect the students and teachers to listen to me when I tell them to take a chance and try something new if I am not willing to do so myself.

So here it is. Not the next great novel just a few thoughts from a life-long learner.