I have been trying to reflect on my learning a lot lately and process my thoughts. I use this space not only as a place to share my learning, but to learn. Writing helps me process my thoughts in a way that I could have never imagined. The reflection and connection are crucial to my growth, and I appreciate people sharing their thoughts or reading along. I recently read this quote from C.S. Lewis and was deeply impacted by it:
I don’t think I will ever be “there” as an expert, but am more comfortable in the role as a learner. That is why I love using this space to reflect.
Below are some statements that I have thought a lot about in the last year, and I’ll share why they drive my thinking.
1. Technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of a great teacher can be transformational.
Technology is abundant and everywhere, and talked about all of the time. That being said, it will never replace great teachers. The best teachers do however use almost anything they can to create opportunities for all the students they serve. This still focuses on great teaching and learning, but the opportunities teachers are afforded now are truly transformational for our learners.
2. To inspire meaningful change, you must make a connection to the heart before you can make a connection to the mind.
Recently evaluating sessions for a conference, the most common session that was suggested was on “revamping” professional learning. Although the opportunities are great and the learning abundant, I still believe there is a power when we feel a human connection to learning. Can we truly change our minds, if we don’t connect our hearts? This is something that I always think about.
3. Would you want to spend the whole day learning in your own classroom?
I think some of the hardest people to teach in the world, are other educators, If the learning is not for them, they tend to check out because their expectations are so high. With that being said, I think it is to our advantage if we focus on ourselves as educators in the role of learners, not teacher. This empathetic approach is key to creating powerful learning environments.
4. We need to help our students not only be ready for opportunities, but to create them for themselves.
When I was a child, there was an importance placed on being ready for when opportunity knocked on your door. Have a good resume, good cover letter, and even in some cases, a portfolio, and when a job is available, you will have your shot. With job markets not only becoming more competitive combined with the opportunity of ease to share your voice, it is essential that we teach our students how to not only be ready for opportunities, but learn to create them for themselves. This is not only about creating jobs, but driving change. A great example of this is Hannah Alper’s blog, who is a young person using her online space to help others. How do we create schools where this is the norm, not the exception?
5. This is not about technology; it’s about relationships and learning.
Although the talk is often about “new and cutting edge” technology, our focus needs to keep relationships and learning at the forefront of our practice. To some, this is a no-brainer statement, but I still believe that it needs to be said repeatedly. If technology does not accelerate or amplify learning and relationships in schools, then why would we use it? I love this graphic from Bill Ferriter showing the power of technology for this focus.
What’s driving your learning?