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.
As a way to revise protein synthesis in Grade 12 Biology, our teacher had assigned us various roles and had us act out the various steps that occur during this process. We had to work together as a class to organize the order and location of the steps that occur, determine the enzymes involved and depict it accurately with materials provided. I remember it clicking in that moment, as I wore my tRNA hat, being able to visualize the process, learn from my peers, and share the parts that I had understood clearly. It changed my approach to studying and has greatly impacted the way that I teach. I try my best to ensure my students are able to engage with the same content in a variety of ways and play to strengths and weaknesses of my students so everyone has a chance to shine and also struggle. The only support we had in this activity were each other, while my teacher observed. My teacher had created a safe learning environment all year where we were comfortable with sharing our thoughts and making mistakes around our peers. We were aware of each others strengths and weaknesses and offered what we knew we could contribute to the team.
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?
This is an incredibly challenging question for me to answer as I believe that all of these skills are important for ensuring success. However, if I have to choose, my guts says Thinking Skills (IB ATL). My reason for this choice is that our students are being told that the jobs that they will fill in the future don’t even exist yet. This means that critical and creative thought are going to be necessary to adapt to the quickly changing environment our students will work in. One way that I build thinking into my curriculum is incorporating Predict/Observe/Explain activities into my lessons regularly. Students will predict what they believe will happen before an demonstration or experiment, record detailed observations (even those that seem insignificant), and come up with explanations for their observations. I start by modelling my thinking, having them come up with predictions based on their prior understandings/experiences and by the end of the year this becomes a routine that they are comfortable with doing on their own.
3) Insert an image below that best captures the essence of that Learning Skill or ATL.