There are so many questions that I have as a teacher. Sometimes I wake up at night wishing I had the answers to everything, but sadly (sigh) I do not. If I did, sleeping would be a lot easier! Last year I spend a lot of time questioning why so many of our classrooms look the way that they do?
Classrooms should be a place where learning can happen no matter where you are. Students do not have to sit in the same spot all day and they can move about the classroom based on what they need. Sitting at a clump of desks means that our students don’t necessarily have opportunities to collaborate and communicate with different people unless there is a seating change.
I posted my thoughts on our class blog site and asked the students to blog about ways that we might create a classroom with the best possible learning environment. Armed with my student’s ideas and hours of research, I did it. I took the plunge and said goodbye to desks. Furniture was difficult to come by so I pieced together what I could find. We had round tables, rectangular tables and desks flipped to create new configurations. We had cubbies at the back that held notebooks, duotangs and textbooks for each subject. At the front of the class we had drawers assigned, one per student that could hold pencil cases and anything that students would have left in their desks. When everything was all set up, I was excited and couldn’t wait to get started.
I feel that going back to a traditional classroom is not what is best for my students, but I have not yet figured out how to make the best possible learning environment. Have you experimented with no desks? What does your classroom look like and how do you foster collaborative communication in your class?
For a good three years now I have sat down in front of a blank screen. I have ideas, thoughts, wisdom and most of all I have questions. I have lots and lots of questions. The idea of starting a blog has intrigued me for a while now, but the blank screen has been so daunting.
What should I write about? What do I want to say? Will anyone care about what I want to say? Am I prepared to hear everything that people say including the good, the bad and the ugly? Am I ready for this virtual presence? With these questions repeating in my head over and over, I let fear sink in and my blank screen has remained blank.
Until now. I am currently enrolled in OECTA’s AQ, Integration of Information and Computer Technology in Instruction. Our assignment, create a blog and start blogging.
So, here it is. My first blog entry…
Why do I think it is important to blog?
In a world that is ever changing, it is impossible to keep up with everything or to expect to know everything. As educators, it is our job to get our students prepared for their future. This is a future that we do not even know exactly what it will look like. We are preparing our students for jobs that may not even exist today. How do we make sure that we are meeting the needs of our students and how do we stay current?
Taking responsibility for our own learning is the only way that educators can expect to know, be and do what our students need of us. Constant reflection of educational endeavours and networking with other educators is an integral part of everyday practice. This is my goal for this blog. Here is where I hope to share my learning, my growth, my setbacks and anything that will help enhance my ability to reach each and everyone of my students.