A little off the books learning

I’m quite obviously not writing on this “professional” blog nearly as frequently as I was when I was actively teaching in the classroom (virtual included).  I was typically writing about apps I liked or used, excitement leading up to conferences, or just daily class experiences.

Since I’m not working at school this year, I don’t feel I have as much to contribute to this blog, but should keep checking in every once in awhile.  I am still flexing those muscles on my “personal” fun blog, I still have miles and miles to go to improve my writing skills, but darnit, am absolutely loving the blogging lifestyle.

As a teacher, I have always considered myself a storyteller.  I put on a show everyday. Maybe I’m part actor, too. There is such an appeal of blogging to me, even with my rudimentary skills, I enjoy telling, musing, explaining, sharing. However, as I have been reflecting, I’m also learning everyday. Teaching is a two way street and we are aiming to make it to the off ramp and let our students drive off without us. Ugh. Worst. Forced. Metaphor. Ever.

My learning for this entry: Risk taking. I try to encourage my students to be “risk takers”.  This last week I was in the drivers seat and became the learner. The risk taker. (Ok enough with the awful driving theme). One of my goals while off was to bring some real world learning experiences back into the class with me. I want to be refreshed and able to look at things with new eyes.

While this means I may have to admit I was at a stand still, at least I can then make improvements.  When I encouraged my students to take risks and see what happens, I as the teacher, might already know some outcomes and possible pathways students will take. This may lessen my feeling of what taking risks feels like.

On my trip last week, I took some risks and stepped out of my comfort zone a few times. It was scary, it was easier to not do it, I didn’t know if it would work out, BUT, adrenaline kicks in. Yes, I made some mistakes, but I’m further ahead for trying.  Even realizing my mistakes, I’m glad I went ahead and tried.

I want to take this renewed feeling of risk taking and apply it in my teaching. I don’t want to just say the words, I want to remember the feeling and how some students may feel if reluctant to try something new.  I can share the experience and encourage in new ways. Even if I think I know the outcome, it doesn’t have to dull the process of getting to the answer .

Even when out of the class, I’m still learning.  Each new experience may help me look at new approaches and tweak my style and both the students and me can only benefit.

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