Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Watch What's Working: Carol Dweck Talks Growth Mindset

Watch What's Working: Carol Dweck Talks Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck is an educator whom I greatly admire.  Can't get enough of her work!

This is why I love education - it's the challenge of finding what works for every individual student, and teacher.  That's the real buzz of what we do.  Our students are always at the heart of everything we do - if we remember that, even with the pressures of daily learning and teaching, we can't go wrong.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

What does connected education mean to me?

Thoughtful Thursdays at the Te@chThought Community

We've just completed our first month-long blogging challenge as part of the Te@chThought community and it was one of the most inspirational experiences ever!  One of the top bonuses was that I made a new friend in my colleague Beth Leidolf, an inspirational educator from the US.  Together we ran the challenge and are now working on developing the community further during Connected Educator Month and beyond!

Our first post for Thoughtful Thursdays at TeachThought is all about what Connected Education means to us. The Popplet below shares my thinking about how important being a Connected Educator is to me and how powerful all these connections are.  Each and every connection plays a powerful and important role in my continuing development as a teacher.

#ce14 #cenz14 #ceoz

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What's Stopping You? On taking risks, leaping in and not being afraid...

Day 30 of the +TeachThought 30D Reflective Teacher Blog Challenge.

Where has the time gone??  I can't believe it's the end of this challenge - there are more to come though!

I've just finished listening to a powerful hour which focused on Connected Professional Learning which was part of the first day of Connected Educator Month.  (I will post a link to the recording as soon as it is available - very worth listening to).

There was a great deal of discussion around Online Communities of Practice which was music to my ears as it's also my research area and something I've become quite hooked on over the past few years, not only in terms of what it can do for teachers' learning and connections but also how it can be adapted for our students.  The ultimate for me would be to develop my classroom into an online community of practice which was something I was beginning in 2013.

This lead me to suddenly have an 'aha' moment around my research and MTchg which I will finish this year. What is my next learning step??  I expect my students to be able to articulate what their next learning is, so why shouldn't I.

If I'm not afraid, I would begin my Doctoral studies and research all the amazing initiatives that are happening in New Zealand / Aotearoa to showcase our model of learning and teaching which is so powerful.  I expect my students and colleagues to take responsible risks and challenge themselves so what am I afraid of?  What an awesome (in the true meaning of the word) opportunity and privilege it would be to explore the practices of our current online communities and then showcase that to the world.


How have you changed as an educator?

Day 29 of the +TeachThought blogging challenge

"Teaching is about making some kind of dent in the world so that the world is different than it was before you practiced your craft."  Brookfield

A few years ago I read this quote and it sums up for me, what I hope I have done and will continue to do for many years.

I'm not sure that I have changed greatly as an educator but much more as a leader. I have always viewed learning and teaching as a shared partnership and have never shied away from learning from and with my students and colleagues.  I hope that is even more obvious now.  I know that my ability to question to encourage deeper thinking and further questioning has greatly improved over the years - and will sometimes drive the students crazy, (but they love it and ask even more questions!)

I know the workload has changed but I've become more efficient for the sake of my students' learning, and my own.  Yes, at times, I've wondered if there is another career out there that would be 'easier' and yes, there probably are but when you are forced to take time out from what you know so well and love so much, it makes you doubly determined to return to it.  That will never change!

I have always loved technology and the opportunities it offers for learning but I am now more discerning in the tools the students and I use.  We all must be able to articulate the impact a particular tool has on learning before we can justify using it.  I hope that's a skill I'm continuing to pass on to my students.

I think the biggest area in which I've changed as a teacher is as a leader.  I've made mistakes along the way, tried to do everything myself but that is the biggest mistake, and is often unintentional as you believe you are helping others, or that it's your responsibility because you are in a particular role and being paid to fill that role, when you're actually doing anything but.  You need to look for the learning and leadership opportunities in and for your colleagues, just as you do with your students.  Collaboration is key and it makes you a better teacher, leader and learner.  The biggest joy I get now is when I hand over control of a project - just as I would with my students - to a colleague and see them shine in their role and teach me so much.  Loosening the grip of perfectionism has so many powerful benefits.  My work on communities of practice has taught me this and I'm grateful for the lesson and the change.