I’ve been doing a lot of reading over these school holidays that is really making me start to think about how I run my classroom. I’m starting to see and rebel against this traditional method of teaching and learning so widely accepted by schools. These “non-negotiable codes of conduct” which dictate what our classroom should look like and how the curriculum should be delivered. Every piece of reading that I’ve completed (or am in the process of completing) goes against what these archaic codes tell us.
I’ll be the first to admit, I am very easily swayed when it comes to new ideas and opinions. There are some ideas which I will just jump on and run with and not stop to think about alternative opinions or different ways of doing it.
Sometimes, this head first approach really works in my classroom. However, as with anything, sometimes it doesn’t or I haven’t thought it out enough to make it work.
I am not the most articulate person in real life. I find writing things down gives me a better perspective and makes me sound like I know what I’m talking about. For example, if another teacher was to ask me why I blog with my class, I would give a short-handed answer that really doesn’t convey my passion or extraordinary benefits that I’ve witnessed while blogging with my students. I bumble through answers and sound quite unintelligent and I’ll be the first to admit that.
In a conversation with a member of my PLN, I asked him how long he had been teaching for as he really seems to have a handle on things. I had mistakenly assumed he was the same age as me and had the same amount of teaching experience but he was always so knowledgeable about everything in education. (Seriously, if you haven’t added @mrkrndvs to your Twitter PLN, do so now!)
Which brings up another point – I love how age is never a barrier to new learning and never an excuse to improve your classroom. If you have 1 year, 10 years or 35 years teaching experience, you should always be striving to improve yourself as a learner and your practice.
I asked my PLN member, am I too ambitious for someone with my amount of teaching experience? His self-reflective reply sums everything up perfectly; “I was never ambitious enough. Always thought that it was someone else’s job. Until I realised it was mine for the taking”
And so, once again, I am feeling inspired. I am going to spend next week working out a plan to totally and radically change my classroom and change my practice to improve learning for my students. My students don’t need set reading groups with one text for all of them to respond to (Not that I’ve actually followed this code of conduct for awhile… Oops!)
They need voice, they need choice and they need to be able to collaboratively solve problems!