Search This Blog

Friday, January 21, 2011

Topsy Turvy

I want to be a good teacher. I want to use some of the concepts Daniel Pink writes about: Autonomy, Mastery and Meaning, and use contextual and emergent principles of learning. But it seems so easy for me to slip from a teacher that wonders with the students about things, to one who tells them the answer and gives assignments. Maybe these paradigms can exist together, but I am wondering. I have to say that since I have been participating in this learning initiative and hanging out with Linda and Roger, I have had a crisis in my teaching.

In some ways I am a good teacher. I use authentic projects often. I use active learning techniques in the classroom. I establish relationships with students. All of this has helped me get excellent students evaluations. All of this I now question. I don't know what to keep and what to throw out.

Yesterday in class I told my (graduate) students that they were very luck to have me for a teacher. I told them that developmental theories show that many do not make it to the "contextual knowing" (Baxter Magolda) stage of development until they leave school. They are lucky, because I make so many mistakes they know for sure I am not an expert and they must take nothing I say as fact. Luckily, I have a good respectful relationship with them and they laughed.

I guess this is exactly what I asked for....learning things with students, emergent and contextual.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

scaredy cat exposed

It's been brought to my attention in various ways, that I am a scaredy cat. It is pretty evident that I am fearful to push myself outside of some invisible walls that I have made for myself. I have multiple examples to call upon:

Let's begin with my new workout routine: I sweat while working out, and have considered pushing myself to the limit, but was confronted by two events: a) I can push myself to the point of throwing up, which isn't an activity I associate with getting in shape, so I don't (it's about the lactic acid, nothing more. I promise I don't have an eating disorder.) b) a fellow gym compatriot that said I wasn't working hard enough if I wasn't sore or laying on the gym floor exhausted after workout. In other words, I am a sissy pants. Scared to go to the physical point beyond what I'm used to. Our conversation hung in the back of my might this morning as I shlepped heavy weights across the floor and completed my various workout routines.