Nothing but love…

c21_logo_mediumWelcome to your 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. 

In the tenth grade, I joined the outtrip club at my high school. We did an eight-day canoe trip every fall, and a four-day hiking trip each spring. Tripping taught me resiliency and self-sufficiency, the value of being uncomfortable, and how breathtaking this world can be. It made me appreciate both solitude and teamwork, and allowed me to understand that there was far more to school than Playing the Grade Game, which had always been my MO in the past. The teachers who led our trips were knowledgable and supportive, but gave us room to learn through our own experiences; most importantly, their passion for nature shone throughout each journey. While I certainly gained knowledge, skills, and confidence by outtripping that I have carried with me through life, I think the most significant insight I gleaned was how important it is to make time to do — and share — the things you love

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?

*Full disclosure: A colleague recently presented a fascinating session on the correspondence between the MOE’s Learning Skills and Executive Functioning. I’d actually like to flip a coin and let it make the decision between the EF skills flexibility and metacognition for me here, but since that’s not an option I’ll go with self-regulation, which I’d argue provides a decent mix of the two.

Harkening back to my first answer, I believe self-regulation skills pave the way for a good school-life (or work-life) balance; a way of operating that allows one to both fulfill obligations and make time for passions. I try to facilitate the development of self-regulation in my students by actively and regularly giving them input into what topics they explore, the projects they create, and the steps they feel are important along the way. My hope is that co-creation empowers students to think about the process of learning and where their strengths and challenges lie, while also giving them ample opportunity to integrate their interests into the work they do. Furthermore, it gives them ownership over the process of learning, and puts them in the position of having to adapt and revamp when that process doesn’t play out as anticipated. 

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)

The path through distraction to complete the task at hand and enjoy the things you love. Urban, Tim. “How to Beat Procrastination.Wait But Why.


8 Replies to “Nothing but love…”

  1. Hi Jess! So much to chew on in this first post – awesome. I’m with you around the value of experiential learning and its contributions to self-reg skills … arguably important foundational work for the journey of learning. Look forward to working with you this year!

  2. There is something so valuable about having a learning experience that teaches us that there is more to school than the marks. Impressive that you had this experience early.

    Looking forward to reading more of your writing this year!

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