“Some educators seem to think that new ideas are unnecessary. They say the fundamentals of learning and education are unchanging. Stay with the tried and true. What would you say to this type of thinking?”
I think teachers tend to get in a rut when they stick to the same old stuff. I have said it before and I’ll say it again but if it is boring to me as a teacher, I know it has to be boring to the students.
I don’t think that by changing up strategies or activities to teach a specific concept or skill is bad. I think it keeps me sharp because I’m always looking for something new or exciting that might “grab” the students’ attention. I think many of the concepts and skills are the tried and true aspects but how I teach it needs to be changing regularly.
I like to get new ideas from other teachers who may have taught the same thing. I used to bounce science ideas off a fabulous science teacher who would help me fine tune my lessons to meet the needs of my students but still teach the concepts. She was always willing to let us join her class when they had a speaker or special activity on the same concepts.
Sometimes if I struggled with teaching a math concept, I would ask my favorite math teacher for suggestions on how I could enhance my lessons.
By asking the best history teacher in our school (who intimidated me a little because she was so knowledgeable) for suggestions, I was thrilled when she was always looking for things to help me in my class. She would go out of the way to suggest a video or activity that she thought my class would really enjoy.
I think it was important that I was willing to ask for help. Many subject area teachers were more than willing to share their vast knowledge but many don’t want to come off like know-it-alls. They are such a valuable resource for a special ed teacher!
How do you find new ideas for teaching old lessons? Please share?