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 mosts I ever learned about being a teacher was while I was a student in high school.  This is a true fact, and it is due to a particular teacher who recognized my potential and goals and put me in a position to lead, learn, and improve.  As a student, I was given the teaching opportunity of a lifetime, as the leader of the junior band at my school.  This was a large group, probably 60 grade 9 and 10 students.  Beginning in grade 11, I was the director of this band.  It was a different time, with fewer rules and less concern about all the things that could go wrong.  I was really in charge - sometimes the teacher wasn't even there.  I ran rehearsals from top to bottom and directed performances and festivals.  This was the best learning I ever experienced.

  • Supports: a mentor
  • Structures: a thriving program of co-curricular music
  • Mindset: my student is certain of becoming a music teacher, so if she is capable I should provide relevant learning
  • Relationship:  the total confidence and support of a valued mentor.

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?

Independent work: I feel that this is tremendously important as students are increasingly able to access vast information and collaborate so easily through a variety of platforms.  Sometimes, you have to do your own work.  In music, the best way to improve is through practising, and no one can do it for you.  Having the confidence to put your own ideas into the world will be fundamental to every student.  In my classes, I ensure that students are practising independently through reflection activities and conferencing, where we discuss individual progress.  Also, there are times when I will not allow group work in order to give time and space to individual answers that come from the student alone.  With positive feedback, they learn that their own ideas are great and that they don't always need to filter their work through other students.

3) Insert an image below that best captures the essence of that Learning Skill or ATL.

When you are finally performing, you are on your own!  Developing Independent Work habits makes it possible to perform.

 

2 thoughts on “My best learning experience

  1. Hello @epaul,
    Responsibility is a fundamental step in the growth of a young student. While sometimes it is a challenge to let others take charge, it can be most beneficial. Students need to understand the role of a leader and what better way than to actually have them lead? I really love your approach to practice and feedback. In my experience, feedback is a tool that students underutilize. Your idea of having them reflect on their practice and giving them feedback will allow them to grow as musicians, but will also allow them to understand how feedback is important beyond the classroom. I can’t wait to hear what other methods you use in your classroom as it is always fascinating to see how others help students grow. I enjoyed reading this and look forward to meeting you at the first F2F tomorrow! #cohort21

    Andrew

    Reply

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