This post has a very specific purpose - to examine what has become different and what has stayed the same in my teaching. This will of course lead me to another purpose - to make a manageable/understandable/explainable listing for others to see.
What's Different? Student centered learning - students become the experts, finding the answers, and learning how to ask the questions Student created content - we learn the same skills, but students base it on their interests and backgrounds Student created assignments - Students create the assignments and figure out how to accomplish them Project based learning - everything is a project where we learn content in context Students self reflect and assign their own grades - they take the time to look back over their successes AND failures, their effort AND their laziness and give themselves a grade based on their individual performance Student created learning goals - who knows what students need to learn better than themselves? Who knows what level of work is realistic for them to accomplish better than them? No late penalties - due dates cause anxiety and don't demonstrated skills Practically paperless - I did this because the resources were provided and it saves money My students are allowed to adapt and redesign the learning space to support their needs and comfort I spend much more time getting students to authentically assess and reflect I spend more time learning about students I spend less time judging them
What's the same?
I treat students as people - as opposed to problems, data, numbers, or grades I live in a classroom of organized and productive chaos I integrate technology to give my students voice I integrate technology to give my students options I integrate technology because it's 2011 and I think that means something I don't give traditional tests I don't have all the answers Sometimes I'm right Other times I'm wrong I keep trying new things hoping that I'm doing the best I can for my students I work really hard and I love it I won't do what other teachers are doing just because they are doing it
Based on my observable evidence, these things are working well for me and for my students. This does not mean that it will work for everyone. But, here is my caution, to avoid a trap that I have fallen into - doing what is easier for me as opposed to what is right and works best for my students.
Take one, some, all, or none of these. They have worked for me, so I thought I would share.