Reflective Teacher (Still)

More reflection, more catching up, more getting ahead on the #reflectiveteacher blogging challenge.

Day 16: if I could have a teaching superpower, I think I’d want the teaching version of x-ray glasses–in that I could see what each of my students needed in order to learn. With some students, it’s easy to know how to give feedback, respond, and guide learning. But sometimes student learning styles are so unique, that I’m not sure how to best facilitate learning. That’s when I wish I had the superpower of seeing exactly what activities, strategies, and/or feedback would help.

Day 17: I think the most challenging issue in education today is the increasing influence of corporate thinking. Schools are not businesses. Teaching is an art, not a job. Treating schools and teachers in ways influenced by how corporations are run damages the profession. For the last decade, I’ve seen too many ways that teachers are demonized when in reality most teachers I know care about kids and work hard to be good teachers. I’d love to see more respect for teacher expertise and professionalism.

Day 18: hmm . . . an analogy for teaching. Teaching is like . . . trying to solve a rubik’s cube. You see the colors, you know it’s possible to get them all to line up, but it takes a lot of trial and error, effort, and time to help students move to where they need to be. The teachers who can do that are superstars.

Day 19: three ways that students can reflect on their learning. 1) The author’s note that students write when they hand in a draft of their writing 2) the freewrite I ask students to do when we’ve had a wide-ranging discussion and I want to help students bring it all together into a cohesive interpretation 3) final questions that ask students to articulate a deep understanding of course content. Note that I specifically chose methods that involve writing since I believe that writing is a powerful medium for reflection.

Day 20: helping students to curate work. I ask students to create wikis or google sites in which they include their best work (or the work that demonstrates best what they’ve learned).

Day 21: hobbies and interests I bring into the classroom. I definitely bring T.V., contemporary music, and art into the classroom when appropriate. I think in English where our focus is so much on the “word,” it’s important that we use the visual and auditory to complement what we do. I also think that using music, art, and media helps students make connections between the text and their everyday lives.

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