Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What does my classroom look like?

In the article Turning on the Lights, Christine states

“This particular article talks about how the learning environment for students these days has moved beyond the classroom.”

Also she mentions:

"Life is changing so rapidly that the content we share with our students will only scratch the surface of what they might need to know. It is important for us to focus on the skills that will permeate all content areas and leave them with an ability to manage, process and synthesize information.
I do think it would be valuable for any educator to spend a day with a student. See what life is like for them during the academic day. Ask questions. I think some of us would be surprised and perhaps frustrated about what isn't happening in the classroom.
We do need to use the technology. How can we not be connecting globally and using every tool that we have to reach as many students as we can?
It really is about the kids. What do THEY want and in fact need, and how can we make it happen?

What does your classroom look like? Is the light on or off?"

I started thinking about my classroom and what I want it to look like when I teach my course this summer to teachers. I want to make sure the light is on but how do I manage to do this. I started to think about things I feel are important and what I want them to learn, so here is my list to make sure the light is on.

· Teach knowledge about material and model strategies that they will be able to use in their own classes.
· Teach them to think about what they are teaching and why they are teaching it.
· Teach them about technology, how important it is to use in the classroom, and model ways to use it.
· Teach them how technology can help with differentiated learning, how it can help students become more successful, and model ways that this can be done.
· Teach them that collaboration with others is important, how to go about collaborating, and actively model this behavior.
· Teach them how to look for professional development opportunities outside their schools and show them examples of some and show how they have helped me grow professionally .
· Teach them how to create their own support systems that will help them professionally and give real examples of these.

I hope by giving my students (teachers) this knowledge, it will help them be successful in their own classrooms.

Photo credit: classroom by Valley Library (Oregon State University)

(edited on 5/21/08 - thank you Karen for clarification!)


Karen Janowski said...

And,Pat, don't just "teach" it, MODEL it (which I'm sure you will do anyway).

And anticipate the obstacles so you can help your teacher/learners overcome the challenges they face.

I'm sure you will do an awesome job leaving the lights turned on.

Christine said...

Sounds like your classroom is going to be a great place to be. I'd sure love to be there.

loonyhiker said...

Karen: you are so right! I went back and edited my post. I sometimes take it for granted that teachers will model as part of their teaching but that is not always true. :(

Bill Gaskins said...

I think it is important to have a vision for the enviroment. We need think beyond the physical environment but to the emotional and community you want to create. Community does not happen by itself most of the time, but takes a lot work by the facilitator. The Decor can help, but the real work is done by the tone the facilitator sets. Sometimes it just doesn't happen for reasons I can't figure out,but other times it takes time and hardwork.

loonyhiker said...

bill: teaching is definitely a lot of elbow grease and hard work! :)