Sunday, 11 December 2011

Looking towards 2012

Taken by @7mrsjames using colour splash iphone app

I am very excited about 2012.  A fresh new year, after a summer/Christmas holiday break to recoup and reflect.  Distance is a positive force at times.  The ability to remove oneself from the action and reflect of what is working well, what needs to progress as well as what needs to change. Thus is the beauty of the "holidays".  To get off the merry go round and reflect. Recharge and renew. See my earlier post on Holidays: a chance to refresh and recharge Click here.

Some thoughts I am still mulling over:

-Assessments. Tracking student learning. Effective feedback to students and parents.
Some of my classes engaged in PLP (personal learning projects) where they choose their own design situation/problem, researched and choose their own method of presentation.  This occurred over a 12 week Design and Technology course of only 3 lessons a fortnight.  One a practical cooking class. So therefore, time was limited.  More reflection on this process in a future post. School based standardised assessments were allocated for Drama and Religion.

-Facilitating student learning.
I believe there needs to be teacher guidance in skills necessary to effectively learn. Students are still conditioned to teacher directed learning. My Year 9 class in particular found it very difficult and challenging at first to become more responsible for their own learning. They felt more comfortable with teacher directed learning. 

-The vast majority of amazing resources available for student learning. 
This is where the holidays are handy. Checking out what resources to share with students, learning new tools and understanding which resources are effective for student learning in a given unit. Realizing the old adage "Do a little well, rather than much poorly".  Or do we introduce, share and explore as much as we can with each other, as what suits one may not suit another?

-Surface learning.
At times, there seems to be so much content to "cover" in programs.  Is this giving learning justice? Or is it necessary in order for students to explore certain paths in greater depth?

-Finding more time with students to think, develop character, be mindful.
Always wishing for education to provide more of a balance between academic focus and the support and development of the whole person.

The above five areas are my reflection focus over the next few weeks.  Of course, these reflections are ongoing.  I always hope and plan for improvements in my own facilitating/teaching and learning.
The future is full of hope, trials and collaboration.  I am contented and excited!

Onwards and upwards.
Keeping the conversation alive,
Jeannette James

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