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Posts Tagged ‘mistakes’

What Am I Afraid Of?

Post 30 on the TeachThought 30-Day Blogging ChallengeWhat would you do as an educator if you weren’t afraid?


 

fearThis prompt makes the assumption that we are afraid of something. I know that as an introvert, I was more fearful getting up in front of a group of adults than I was with students. But with the change in my role 5 years ago, that fear had to fade away. I’d like to say I got over it, but do still find myself taking a deep breath and diving in before addressing a group of adults!

Fear masks deeper issues. What am I afraid of? Taking risks? Working with others? Trying new things? Does it prevent me from doing these things? No- it can’t or I wouldn’t be productive, I wouldn’t learn, I wouldn’t grow. But perhaps there are those for whom this is an issue. Are some educators inhibited from moving forward because of underlying fears? Do they not want to be seen making mistakes? Not knowing something? Are they not taking steps toward innovation because they feel they don’t have the support?

Aren’t these the same things we work on with our students? We want to support them, encourage them to learn from mistakes, take risks.

We all have fears – whether adult or child. It’s how we handle the fears and work through them that lets our true colors shine.

I’ll close (my 30th post in 30 days!) by sharing a post written by George Couros recently about this very topic,  “What Our Fear Actually Inhibits”.  I found this very powerful.

Thanks for reading my blog over this past month. I intend to keep it going! And thanks to the folks at Teach Thought and Beth Leidolf for the inspiration!

 


 

Image: creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by hang_in_there: http://flickr.com/photos/59632563@N04/8443032580

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Post 14 in the TeachThought 30-Day Blogging ChallengeWhat is feedback for learning and how well do you give it as an educator?


 

feedback

Feedback is critical for learning. However, there are some important elements that must be in place for feedback to be effective.

1. First we need to build community. Whether adopting and implementing the principles of Responsive Classroom or building community in other ways, students need to feel safe, trusted, and respected. They need to know how to communicate and collaborate.

2. We need to develop a culture in which students know making mistakes is part of the learning process. Edutopia shared this post a few years ago that still resonates with me, The Role of Mistakes in the Classroom.

3. We need a growth mindset and clear definitions of how we grow and learn. I’ve been revisiting Jackie Gerstein’s post, The Educator with a Growth Mindset, a few times in recent weeks.

4. We need an audience. It can’t only be the teacher and classmates. Here’s a quote from How Digital Writing is Making Kids Smarter, that illustrates the value of a larger audience.

“Academic studies have found that whenever students write for other actual, live people, they throw their back into the work -– producing writing with better organization and content, and nearly 40 percent longer than when they write for just their instructor,” Thompson writes.

5. We need to learn about feedback and commenting. This is something we intentionally teach. What are the parts of a good comment? How do we give one another feedback? How will it help us and impact our work? How do we interact with others in person and online?

I rely on the classroom teachers with whom I work to establish these elements in the culture of their classrooms. When I get the privilege of working with them, I see the impact that learning feedback has on their experience in school. When these elements are in place, the real learning happens. Feedback truly is for learning.


Image: creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by Karl Horton: http://flickr.com/photos/karlhorton/1903050006

 

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