Welcome to your Cohort 21 Blog. This journal is an integral part of your Cohort 21 experience. Here you will reflect, share and connect with the C21 community and your support group coaches and facilitator as you move through our inquiry and action cycle. This is your first post and an opportunity to practice sharing your thinking and getting feedback on it. It is also an opportunity to learn about WordPress (this blogging platform) and how to add images and content to your posts. Please follow the steps below to publish your first post.
Welcome to your first post!: Following each Cohort 21 Face to Face session we will provide you with several questions to reflect on. By making your thinking visible and publishing your thoughts to this blog you will be able to engage our powerful support and feedback system and accelerate your professional growth. Please follow the following steps:
- Answer questions #1 and 2 below.
- Replace the “Featured Image” at the bottom of your screen with another image of your choosing that fits with your answers and theme of your post.
- Press the blue “UPDATE” button on the right to save your work along the way and publish your post.
- Click the “Helpful WordPress Tutorials” link on the left sidebar to explore some of your blog’s features.
- Answer the questions by Nov 15th so we can give you feedback before our 2nd face to face session on Nov 20th.
- **Delete all the text above once you have responded to the questions below ***
Question 1: During the first face to face we used the language of Urgent vs Important to help frame our discussions and thinking around the use TIME. Reflect on why you joined Cohort 21 and your professional goals for this year. Now that the year has begun and you have met your students what IMPORTANT goal might you like to address and leverage this community to get support with.
When I think about time spent at school, I think about it in three categories. First of all, there is the time that we devote to our relationships with students and teachers. It is the “How was your weekend?” and “How are things going for you?” questions that allow us to get to know our students and colleagues and show support. Secondly, there is the time that we devote to our classes. The planning, delivery and marking associated with each of our courses is important as we nurture our students as learners. The delivery of our courses is always more successful if we have taken care of the personal connections first. Lastly, but definitely not least, we need to consider the time devoted to co-curricular programs. These co-curricular programs are important for helping students connect with each other, learn different skills and create a feeling of community.
Time is crucial to being a good listener. It is impossible to develop relationships with students and colleagues when you don’t have the time to be an active listener during conversations. There are many distractions that impose limits on the length of these conversations such as emails, meetings, schedule, not to mention family concerns, and it is important to put these distractions in appropriate categories. As I have aged as a teacher, my priorities about relationships has changed. I have become less attached to following a strict schedule and more inclined to stop and listen. I need to continue to remind myself that stopping and listening is often important and sometimes urgent.
When delivering my science classes, I feel that the planning and organization is important. Since I am a fairly organized person, it rarely becomes urgent, for which I am grateful. Planning ahead means that I can devote more brain power to developing rich lessons as opposed to throwing something together last minute due to a sense of urgency. Marking can definitely fit into both categories. When students need work returned in order for them to prepare for a test, then marking is urgent. Otherwise, it gets the important label. Co-curricular programs are crucial to the community feel at an independent school. Being proactive about running them allows this part of my job to fit into the important but not urgent category.
My goal as an educator this year is to focus on the importance of relationships. At a time when mental health is precarious, these face to face interactions are key to a successful year and happy kids. In order to have more time to chat with students and less time delivering lessons at the front of the room, I am interested in learning more about Problem-Based Learning and structuring a unit around a rich task rather than just creating a project at the end of the unit.
Question 2: Which of the Season 10 Strands did you choose and why? Share what you feel is both urgent and important about it for you and your school at the moment and some of the questions you have around moving forward. Feel free to change strands should you want to.
I have chosen the Pedagogy and Wellbeing Strand (7-12) and feel that the wellbeing aspect of this strand is urgent as we deal with the fallout of the pandemic.
IMPORTANT-Keeping students engaged with their learning is important
-help students develop problem solving abilities, resilience and critical thinking skills
QUESTIONS-what frameworks are out there to support the creation of these projects
-how do you evaluate PBL