In this weeks post I’ve been asked to reflect on the courses Ive taken to date “Whats the most important thing(s) Ive learned? How has my thinking changed? What actions will I take based on what I have learned? Outside of the specific learning outcomes here are my highlights:
The power of reflection: Seems a bit of an ironic place to start doesn’t it? Ive always been known to have an opinion but its different when you have to articulate,publish, share and support it. My comfort level in writing and actually enjoy the process is one of the most profound changes I have seen in myself. Tools such as the focussed conversation model and blogging helped tremendously. I’ve actually enjoyed the blogging so much I plan on continuing to blog professionally.
Theories of education – I’m not big on theories. I am overly impatient for people to get to the point. I find pages and pages of so-and -so said and so-and so-said a bit nauseating. I have, however, learned to appreciate the overwhelming amount of history, research, study, thoughts, perceptions and information on how people learn.
The lingo – every profession has its own vernacular; teaching is no exception. My vocabulary is expanding and I can now say I know what a rubric is, what the cognitive domains are and use big words like metacognition.
Self directed learning – I titled my blog “learning about learning to be a bit cheeky. The is a certain irony however in both being a student in the PIDP whilst honing our skills as teachers.
Instruction techniques – there are classroom activities that I had been doing for years that I was self taught in or tried based on observing others. Role playing is a prime example. It wasn’t that I was necessarily doing it wrong but I could have been doing it a lot better.
Evaluation versus assessment – as a parent of two you children the PIDP n be very enlightening regarding their education. Our school district is currently undergoing significant curriculum changes which includes a move away from letter grades. I found the discussion / debate around this very interesting along with the concepts of assessment “of”, “for” and “as” learning.
Engagement vs being engaging – there is ego in teaching. It’s natural to feel somewhat inflated when the presentation of an idea or concept resonates with students. You can end up seeking out these “aha” moments and lose focus on all the student learning.
Overall the PIDP program has developed in me a sense of the kind of teacher I want to be and what foundation knowledge and skills that will ground me in my practice.