Friday, May 27, 2011

Mixed Emotions

     The end of a school year always brings mixed feelings for me.  No matter what the year has been like, I often consider that I won't spend another moment with this same group of people again.  Many will remain at the school where I teach and I will talk with them again in the fall.  Others will move or attend another school next year and I may never see them again. 
      I reflect on my year in our classroom.  Did I provide the best learning environment that I could?  Did the students feel free to express their opinions and trust that I would consider them thoughtfully?  Did we grow together as a group or was this school year filled with the status quo?  I haven't always taken the time to be this reflective.  My personal learning network (PLN) is challenging me to grow in ways that I had never considered before the last few months.  I am considering how I conduct myself and my classroom.  I'll have to admit that I'm not satisfied with my answers.  So this summer I will be continuing a journey that I began a few months ago.  The students have become the center of my thinking, not the curriculum, the cool tech tools or anything else.  How can I give the students options to learn and demonstrate their learning that is fulfilling to them and not BORING?  This is my challenge to myself and to my PLN.  Are you doing everything that you can to engage your students so they can learn in ways that are meaningful to them?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Here Begins a Journey

This post begins a new journey for me as an educator.  My Personal Learning Network (PLN) and Twitter have prompted me to record the beginning of what I hope will be a journey that will reshape my role as an educator.  Since joining Twitter 2 months ago, at the urging of Kevin Creutz (@kevcreutz), I have become immersed in a conversation where many people are expressing their thoughts, hopes, dreams, and frustrations about education and the students educators serve. This journey will hopefully involve a significant reimagining of my role as a teacher in relation to my students.  This reimagining could not have begun without the enthusiastic sharing of Joe Bower (@joe_bower) and Pernille Ripp (@4thGrdTeach) through their blogs and Tweets.  Thank you to my PLN who encourages me to be the best guide to my students that I can be.