Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to attend the SD36 Movers and Shakers day with George Couros. I left with a lot to think about, and a bit of homework. Below is a post I wrote for sd36learns.posterous.com Here you can find reflections from the people who attended the session yesterday. It's worth a read. These people have such a passion for learning and truly inspire those around them.
What I learned Today and what I will do Tomorrow:
I often feel a bit overwhelmed during pro-d when I am bombarded with information and tools to use in my classroom. George’s presentation was different though. The way he made us think changed the way I view my practice. George asked us “Why?” I always knew that I try new things, embed technology and try to be creative in my classes because it engages my students, but I never actually asked myself “Why?” and definitely never shared it. Asking this question really stressed me out, because I couldn’t actually answer it right away. It made me feel as though I was just doing stuff for the sake of doing stuff. When I started writing and talking with the people at my table, I began to realize that I have several reasons why I use technology, but George’s voice was echoing through my head: "I do it because it is what’s best for the kids.” Isn’t that why we are educators? They are using social media anyways, so why not teach them how to create a positive digital identity?
It is also our duty to give our students a voice and motivate them to reach their full potential. As George said, we need to give kids a voice and share their work with an authentic audience, otherwise, imagine all of the talent and creativity that goes unnoticed.
I challenge myself to make this change in my classes. I will give my students a voice, and work harder to do what is best for my kids because “Kids often defy expectations, if given the opportunity” (Shelly Wright, @wrightsroom)
Thanks George and everyone else for the amazing discussions.
- Jess Pelat