PB and J

Peanut butter and jam sandwich. The classic, standby, guilty pleasure, comfort food. Why do I start off with this? Well, I’m feeling like I’m old school lately, but still feel proud of my choices in the classroom.

I’m all for moving forward, trying new things, looking for and implementing innovation, but really want to acknowledge my roots and stand by them. While no one person is “shaming” me or my practices, it seems that that term of “shaming” is getting a lot of coverage lately.

We seem to be inundated with some type of “shaming” in the media. Body shaming, fat and skinny, snack shaming, food shaming, vaccination shaming. Almost everyday I see some type of article or even new invention of the term.  I understand that this type if behaviour could in fact help someone to change his behaviour. I don’t particularly respond to it, because I feel unless I’m ready to make a change, “shaming” me will not in fact help, but hurt the problem. It reminds of of political campaigns where, instead of claiming all the good of your own program, you just throw pot shots at your competition. Is that called, “negative” campaigning? I also understand that you often have to acknowledge a problem before you can fix it. My issue I guess becomes when someone defines a “problem” when others don’t.

What in the world am I talking about? Peanut butter and jam and shaming? I hope she has a point. Well, I mostly do. Here is my declaration: I use work sheets and I teach things that are “Google” -able. These are classic, old school, and possibly viewed as not progressive.

While I also use technology, online courses, a class website, Twitter, experience based learning, I also rely on some basic, old school, dare I say “boring” lessons. Yes. There are some facts my students need to learn first before I send them out exploring on their own.

When I used my peanut butter sandwich analogy, I thought of my class and learning. PB and J is concrete and will work for many learners. What about the kids who are allergic to peanut butter? Gluten? Need the crusts cut off? Well, that’s why I don’t ONLY use worksheets and content you can “Google” .  I’m supposed to be a facilitator and show my students the way. I incorporate other learning in my classes – I find a combination of classic and new works well for me and my students. I’m not embarrassed to teach some concepts from a worksheet, as much as I don’t applaud my own use of technology in my class. We work together, find what works for a particular student, tweak and learn. We adjust on the fly and use the best learning tool for that student on that day. Will it sometimes be a worksheet? Yes. Will it sometimes be designed from an app? Yes. Let’s not forget I’m working towards moving forward in a learning experience, and I’m willing to use many methods to achieve that goal.

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