My best learning experience

c21_logo_mediumWelcome to you Cohort 21 Blog. This journal is an integral part of your Cohort 21 experience. Here you will reflect, share , collaborate  and converse as you move through the C21 Action Plan process. 

This is your first post and an opportunity to share a little bit about yourself as a learner and leader. Please respond the to the following prompts below:

1) Reflect on your own personal learning journey and K-12 education. Identify one learning experience that you can point to as having made a significant impact on some element of your own growth and development. It could be that teacher and subject that really sparked significant growth or a trip that opened your eyes to a whole new world or way of thinking or a non-catastrophic failure that you learned so much from.  Briefly describe the learning experience and identify the various supports, structures, mindsets and relational ingredients that were put in place by the teacher or facilitator that directly contributed to your growth and success. 

The most impactful learning experience wouldn't be defined by one moment but rather over the course of a semester with one teacher in particular. This teacher was my grade 12 Law course teacher. She was kind, caring, compassionate and wanted nothing but the best in her students. She sought every opportunity to not only help me be the best me, but everyone else as well. Whenever I needed extra help or had any questions or concerns she was always there for me. At the time I took the course my life goal was to eventually become a lawyer. Furthermore, it being grade 12 I knew I was going to use this course as my top 6 for my average applying for university. This course taught be the importance of hard work and dedication to a goal and the importance of having solid support systems in place.

The key ingredients to this successful story were:

  1. Positive mindset - Both the teacher and myself had a positive growth mindset. She allowed me opportunities to constantly grow and learn from my mistakes.
  2. Positive relationship- I trusted her immensely and knew even if she let me fail it was for the positive growth that would come from it.

From the experiences I learnt in this course and through this inspirational teacher I have tried at every opportunity to bring these values into my own everyday teaching.

2) What is the one Learning skill (MOE) or Approach to Learning (IB ATL) that you feel is MOST important in this day and age? How do you intentionally build it into your curriculum and develop it in your students throughout the year?

Social Skills- Collaboration

I feel that collaboration is an essential skill that our students need to have to be successful in this day of age. With increasing use of social media and gaming I feel our students are losing some of the essential skills necessary. Although it could be argued that collaboration is happening in social media or gaming sites it is essential our students learn the importance of how collaboration can be done in many different ways. No matter what field our students decide to enter into with their chosen career paths collaboration will always be an essential and necessary skill.

Collaboration is embedded very easily in an health and physical education setting as sports is a natural place where team work is evident and necessary. I extend this however by purposefully putting students in situations where they might need to collaborate with students they normally either don't hang out with or might not get along with great. The purpose of this is to have students understand and appreciate each others strengths and weaknesses.  Through this students will understand that if you work together towards a common goal by collaborating it makes the task much easier and more effective.

3) Insert an image below that best captures the essence of that Learning Skill or ATL. (Click on the "Helpful WordPress Video Tutorials" link in the left hand sidebar to learn how to insert it)



7 thoughts on “My best learning experience

  1. Thanks @awalker for this post,

    I appreciate how you listed the ingredients - we hope to emulate this in the way that we have set up Cohort 21: positive mindset and relationships.

    Looking forward to working and learning with you this year,

  2. Hello Aaron (@awalker),

    I have to agree with you on the relationship factor. I can't think of anything more important to invest in as a teacher. Without trust, students are unwilling to risk taking chances or work hard. I had a physical education teacher in middle-school who was one of the most out-of-shape people I can remember. Just about everything he said or did was perceived by us somewhat antagonistic youth as being hypocritical. Hence, no relationship formed and I never truly cared about that subject.

    You will find so much collaboration at Cohort21 your cup will runeth over. I look forward to helping you with your action plan this year. Welcome to Cedar Group!


    1. Post author

      Hey Eric,
      That is unfortunate to hear about your middle school experiences. I feel a lot of students have had similar experiences or the complete opposite in PE. My hopes is to help all my students to have positive experiences while fostering positive relationships. Looking forward to working with you this year.


  3. Hi Aaron!
    It was great to read your blog - sounds like you had an amazing teacher and experience in Law class. My daughter loved this course too and had a wonderful teacher...she is in first year at Carleton studying Forensic Psychology. Law is where she thinks she would like to land, although she has teaching in her blood!!! Many of our participants this year have mentioned collaboration! I can't wait for you to experience is collaboration on steroids!!!
    Looking forward to meeting you on Saturday, and working with you as your 'coach' although that is kind of 'pun-ny' seeing as you are a Phys. Ed teacher 🙂
    Take care,

    1. Post author

      Hey Lisa,
      Looking forward to working with you. The great thing about being a coach is that we always love to learn from different coaches. I look forward to learning from you Coach Mitchell 🙂

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