Day 30: 30 Day Reflective Teaching Blogging Challenge

Day 30: What would you do (as a teacher) if you weren’t afraid?

If I wasn’t afraid, I would probably go through the principals interview process and get myself on a the vice principal’s list. I’m not really afraid, it’s more like do I really want to do it, leave the classroom and move over to the administrative side. So yes, there is some fear in that. I love being in the classroom and it’s where I feel the most comfortable, so it would be a very big change if I did that and a change that is hard to go back on. So it’s a big decision and one that I probably avoid making because I am a bit afraid of what that might look like and how things would change. I’ve been at the same school for the past 14 years and feel grateful for the years I’ve spent there honing my skills and building forever friendships with my colleagues. So making that change would also be a lifestyle change and I guess I’m just not sure I want to take that leap…..yet!!

Wow, what an amazing experience this has all been taking time each day and reflecting on my teaching practice and getting to read and learn from so many others. Thank you for such an amazing experience, I’m so glad I decided to join. Hope there is more to come!!!!

Day 29: 30 Day Reflective Teacher Blogging Challenge

Day 29: How have you changed as an educator since you first started?

I’m more easy going on myself, I’m not so stuck in doing things one way. I’m not afraid of making mistakes in front of my students or in front of my colleagues. I’m more willing to try new things and go with the flow. I’m very flexible. I used to feel that I needed to plan everything, I still like to have a plan but I’m not as fussy about the details, sometimes I find that I do my best teaching when I’m just in the moment and not worried about everything else. So I guess I’m less of a worrier than I might have been 15 years ago. I feel that all these changes are positive and I hope that they’ve made me a better teacher. I’m still learning and that’s one of the things I love about my job. I hope I keep growing and changing and learning over the next 15 years!!!

Only one more day before we finish the challenge, I think I’m going to miss it!!!!

Day 28: 30 Day Reflective Teacher Blogging Challenge

Day 28: Should technology drive curriculum or vice versa?

Technology when used properly in the classroom is a great addition to any teaching. However good teaching needs to be there to begin with. It is good teaching that will drive the use of the technology, not the other way around. I love this poster

I found this on Pinterest, it’s really important as teachers to know why you are using technology, I know I’ve needed reminders and I love this poster, makes you think!!!

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September: Currently….

images-1I’ve always wanted to do one of these and have seen so many around many of the blogs that I follow. So here is my attempt….

Working on….writing my reflective teacher blogging entry, it’s been a great challenge all month long. I’m on day 27, only a few more to go. It’s been a great process to go through, reflecting on my teaching practice each day and learning something about myself.

Reading…This is Where I Leave Youimages-3 I got it for my birthday last week and really can’t wait to see the movie, but will try to finish the book before seeing it.

Feeling…. Grateful, just spent Friday night dinner with my family and my aunt just flew in from Seattle. So it was really nice sharing stories and just being together around the dinner table.

Loving….that  its Saturday morning and even though I woke up early I don’t have be anywhere or do anything and I can enjoy a cup of coffee and watch my programs.

Knowing..that it’s a really busy time of year and to remind myself to take a deep breath.

Planning…a field trip for my students to the Science Centre for our study on Energy.

Day 27: 30 Day Reflective Teacher Blogging Challenge

Day 27: What role do weekends and holidays play in your teaching?

Over the years of teaching my weekend commitment to my teaching has changed. My weekends used to be consumed with prepping for the coming week, however now they take an hour or two out of my weekend for planning, preparing, creating etc…. Holidays too, I’m much more aware of the importance of taking time away from teaching and focusing on other things and using time away for recuperating from all the I give during the week or year. Time away from work is sacred and I’ve learned to separate my time from my school life, it’s taken years of experience, but this is the realization that I’ve come to.

Day 26: 30 Day Reflective Teacher Blogging Challenge

Day 26: What are your three favourite go-to sites for help/tips/resources in your teaching?

Pinterest:
I adore Pinterest and have been on it for a couple of years. It’s a great place for me to see what other teachers across the world are doing in their classrooms. I love all the ideas and it’s easy to store all my ideas in categories.

Twitter:
Since starting this blog challenge, I’ve come across so many interesting twitter feeds and have read so many interesting articles that have inspired me.

Other Teacher Blogs:
I’ve been following a variety of teacher blogs over the years and I get so many amazing ideas from these creative and generous teachers.

Day 25: 30 Day Reflective Teacher Blogging Challenge

Day 25: The ideal collaboration between students- what would it look like?

Wow, good question. As a teacher I think we’re collaborating with our students all the time. In my class it definitely happens all the time. I’m a big believer in a democratic classroom, where everyone has a voice, so the one type of collaboration is when all voices are heard and they feel like they are making a positive contribution to the classroom or to a situation. Collaboration with students is getting their ideas heard. It’s making them feel part of the teaching/learning experience. I’ve said it before and I guess I’ll say it again, but for me
“voice and choice” allow for positive collaboration in point of view, or that’s at least how I see it in my classroom. I’d love to know what or how other teachers see collaboration in their class.

Day 24: 30 Day Reflective Teaching Blogging Challenge

Which learning trend captures your attention the most, and why?

I think the learning trend that captures my attention the most is inquiry based learning. I really think that this type of learning allows our students to begin to take ownership over their learning. There’s this saying for teacher’s to think about, it goes like this: Are you the sage on the stage or the guide on the side. I really strive to be the guide on the side and I believe that inquiry based learning allows our students to take the reins and decide what they would like to learn or focus on as a project. It gives them voice and choice in their learning. I think too often as teachers we are always telling our students what we want them to learn, the inquiry based approach veers from that and that can be scary for teachers, but it can also be so rewarding. So if inquiry based learning is a trend, I’m enjoying it and hope that it’s here for awhile.

Day 23: 30 Day Reflective Teaching Blogging Challenge

Day 23: Write about one way you meaningfully involve the community in the learning in your classroom. If you don’t yet do so, discuss one way you could get started.”

It’s a good question and as teachers I often think we tend to be islands unto ourselves. It’s important to take a step back and ask how do we involve the community. I guess in the past, I involved the community of my school or at least the parents of my students through a classroom blog. Another way that I think I’ve involved the community is by being a host teacher to student teachers, and giving back to the community in that way. Those are two ways that I can think of right now, but I believe that I do need to take closer look and examine ways that I would feel comfortable meaningfully involving the community in other ways. Look forward to reading some other teacher responses.

Day 22: 30 Day Reflective Teacher Blogging Challenge

Day 22; What does your PLN look like? What does it do for your teaching?

So we don’t use the acronym PLN where I work, so I had to look it up (Professional Learning Network). My professional learning network consists of a variety of essential parts. Probably my most important piece to my PLN is my teaching partner. We are in constant communication when it comes to what we are teaching on a daily basis and obviously where we are headed in terms of long range plans. We are on the same page and have many similarities when it comes to the way we approach our teaching and the expectations that we have for our students. I feel very lucky to have someone just down the hallway who is always there to support, listen and inspire me.Like many other teachers, my PLN has recently included Twitter, Pinterest and many teaching blogs that I have come across and get inspired by. I love how the use of social media has had an impact in my teaching. It is both inspiring and validating; two things I think as teachers we need to experience. I am so happy to have come across so many interesting and useful blogs, and pinterest ideas as well as twitter links that make me think about my teaching and ways that I want to improve it.