Letting Go

I am so intrigued by the idea of our instruction and classroom operation being like a game of soccer.  When it really counts, when students are showing what they can really do with what we’ve taught them, there are no time-outs.  It is no longer a drill, and it no longer looks exactly like the examples we’ve been through, but the students have got to be able to use what they’ve learned and mold it and apply it to a new setting.  In his blog post, Grant Wiggins states, “if you tape your own classes you will find that you are providing endless advice on how to do things and more often than not co-opting the development of judgement.”  This was like a light bulb to me.  If I’m helping to determine how students should judge and perceive the problem I set in front of them, then they are likely to tackle other problems the exact same way, when really, I should not be giving them advice on how to solve the problem, but rather teaching them the skills necessary to make a sound judgment initially, one that is of their own thinking and not of mine.  This will go much farther than their current skills being confined to one setting.

From the webinar we watched, I am especially interested in the idea of “building teachers” for today’s classroom environment.  Teachers certainly have quite a different role in the classroom and they did 20 years ago.  Students are now able to “Google” the information they need instead of solely relying on the teacher.  One of the speakers in the webinar asks the question, “What are the knowledge skills and dispositions–if we focus on just the teachers–what do the teachers have to have, and how do we build that?”  This goes back to equipping teachers in a different way than before; it goes back to equipping teachers to “let go.”

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3 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. I totally agree with you about equipping teachers to “let go”. This would require many teachers to change their mindset about what effective instructional practices look like in the classroom. In my opinion, it would also necessitate ongoing professional development. I believe that librarians should be instrumental in facilitating this type of transformation in schools. In module two, we learned about effective internet searching strategies. In this week’s module we had an opportunity to familiarize ourselves with GALILEO, and through the article and webinar we reviewed we were able to obtain a clear picture of how inquiry based learning should be incorporated in a 21st century classroom. We can and should share this knowledge of effective searching tools and strategies with members of our school communities on a regular basis. If teachers are equipped with this knowledge and have opportunities for ongoing professional development in order to develop the habits of mind discussed in the webinar, then I definitely think we will begin to notice a change for the better.

    My goal after graduation is to become a librarian and delivering valuable professional development for teachers is one thing I hope to be able to implement in the school where I serve. Currently, I am a teacher in a small county and it seems that adequate funds are never available for the professional development teachers so desperately need. I think librarians have a responsibility to inform teachers about technology tools, other resources, educational trends, and practices that can improve and enhance instruction. This can be accomplished simply by sharing information through social media or by providing informal professional development. I really like how Dr. Green is using Twitter to facilitate sharing among the students in our class. I think librarians that seek to implement this type of network and sharing with teachers in their school can make a huge difference.

    Check out the article below from ALA about collaboration between librarians and other educators.

    http://www.ala.org/news/state-americas-libraries-report-2014/school-libraries

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  2. “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” I heard this a thousand times growing up, not that I am a huge fan of the saying, I have two cats and love them very much. However, growing in Lizella, Ga, you get phrases like this from time to time. This is how I was raised to think…this makes it hard not to give the advice you mention in your post. Teaching a connections class in a middle school i am offered the opportunity to teach more life lessons, therefore I try to let them know my thought process. I try to get them to understand how they can do something three different ways and still get to the same answer. This is something I now know I need to stop. You mention Grant Wiggins comment about video taping us teaching. I don’t need the proof, I do this! From the first day of this class I knew I had to change this habit. I feel like I let go but with a leash. I have already decided to incorporate proper training in searching the internet for tutorials in Photoshop (which is what I teach) then finding the method that best suits them.

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