Saturday, 5 September 2015

No Man's Land of Teaching: No Class of Your Own

I'm not a Primary, Middle or High School Teacher. I'm not a homeroom teacher, but also not a single subject teacher. I attend planning meetings, staff meetings but yet teach no specific classes to call my own. I am an EdTech Coach.

I never expected to be in a role such as this (though enjoying every second of it). It has been a whirlwind of excitement, challenges and fun the first month back in action. But after a day of professional development dedicated to inquiry in the primary classroom, it does get me thinking in a way I haven't before and I'm stumped.

I've sat all day in a workshop with ideas filling my mind of things I could do slightly differently with students in my classroom, how I could try different strategies to make my lessons more inquiry-based. Then it dawned on me... I don't exactly have a class of my own to try things out on like I have in the past.

I've always come back from professional development excited to test my ideas on my guinea pig students. I'd jump in Monday morning with new tricks, strategies and projects to try. My students would work through things alongside me and figure out how to make them work in our given environment. Usually, my students would build on my ideas and make them better than my original ones and off we went flying.

Now I've got ideas. But no class of my own to try them out on. It's a lot easier to try an idea on a large scale in your own class and be okay with whatever direction it takes (even if it is not the most favourable and you have to find a way to redirect it). It is a lot riskier to do the same thing in someone else's class when at the end of the day someone else is accountable for documenting the student's growth and process.

Professional development has to change for me now. How can I take my learning and use it to support the teachers in their classroom and planning? How can I take my learning and use it to change the way I facilitate professional development? How do I still use these ideas that I develop at professional development sessions and still be able to try them in a classroom that is not my own? Change is good and sometimes it just takes time to wrap your head around how to best go about new situations. It's not that it's not possible - just thinking about how to best make the connections from learning to application in different avenues.

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