Feb 14, 2009

An Overwhelming Influx of Ideas

What sort of best practices work, which fit into my teaching, how can I adjust them to fit my teaching? Will they work for me? Some are contradictory. Teachers who do not practice what they preach.

Veterans around me sit in this auditorium and look just like me: they're bored, impatient, and would rather spend this time working in their classrooms. Our speakers up front continue on with their wordy powerpoint slides: "next slide please, blah blah blah, next slide please, blah blah blah..." Halfway conscious, I shut my laptop. Quarter conscious, I drift away.

But then something hits me, something engages me: "Foldables? A method to engage my kinesthetic learners? Hey, that's cool!" I take note. I consider ways to implement. This can work in my classroom. This can work for my kids. A new era of note-taking I must usher in.

A video on groupwork: group quizzes. What a novel idea! That can work too! Kids helping kids. My role as an effective questioner, never submitting to providing answers to theirs, but rather prod.. and prod some more.

Then a lady says "research has proven student achievement on tests raises considerably if students are hydrated." Another suggests that each teacher chooses a 'target group' of students to watch carefully and provide them special resources so THEIR cst scores can go up. But a seminar last Saturday suggests 'eff' the nclb!

As a young teacher, I'm overloaded w/ an influx of suggestions: philosophies of teaching, methods, proven data, etc. Some of it I like, some of it I don't. Some may even contradict each other. Bottom line: unlike the veteran's around me, I'm open to adapting new ideas to my craft. But I can't decide what's good and what's not!

And so goes the trial & error period of my young teaching career. Learning to teach while teaching so students can learn. Pieces slowly fall into place, but my philosophy, my methods, my views are all far from well-defined.

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