Welcome 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.
When I first began teaching 15 years ago, I was eager and enthusiastic (to say the least). I was excitable (still am) and my Director of School pulled me aside and said, "Penny, you need to control the intonation of your voice. It's very high pitched and excitable. The students will pick up on this and you will have a massive headache by the end of the day because they will all sound like you.".... I was thrown back a little, and then processed what she was saying. The energy that you bring to the classroom is indeed mimicked by the students (positive and negative). She had me sit down with a mirror and practice how I was talking. It was weird..uncomfortable...mind blowing. I saw myself as the students saw me. We worked through not only my volume, but also what I was saying. We worked on this for the entire school year, I tested the theory of energy levels, volume levels, and mindset. It was fascinating and really gave me a full understanding of the impact I had on the students (and vice versa!)
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?
I feel the most important Learning Skill is Collaboration. When developed students are able to accept various roles, share the workload evenly, develop peer to peer relations, think critically, resolve conflict, have their own opinions, support those opinions through sharing, but then also positively respond to other's opinions. Through collaboration we can all learn something new. This is built into the curriculum with group and partner work, Think, pair, share, comparing solutions to a problem, (open ended math questions are the best for this!). In advisor we discuss different options to conflicts that could arise (or have already). Accepting that your solution may not be the best is part of collaboration and self learning.
3) Insert an image below that best captures the essence of that Learning Skill or ATL.