Saturday, October 26, 2013

Starr Sackstein and #satchat Inspiration

Starr Sackstein led a wonderful #satchat discussion this morning related to her new book, Teaching Mythology Exposed, Helping teachers create visionary classroom perspective.  Still smarting from recent setbacks, I entered the chat a bit uninspired, but hopeful that my PLN would once again come to my rescue with inspiring thoughts, challenges, and debate. Thanks to Starr and the wonderful #satchat moderators and educators, I left the chat renewed!

First, we discussed many myths related to education, myths that persist today. Taking the time to unearth and understand myths really propels individuals and organizations ahead.

Next, the #satchat discussion helped me to set new goals with regard to my teaching--goals that make a difference, and goals I'm excited about embracing. These goals will be acceptable to my leadership as well, hence, I won't have to engage in the painful debate and discussions I've wrestled with lately, mostly debates about new technology and curriculum.

The goal I'll embrace is personalized learning--looking for ways that I can coach both students and families with regard to each child's learning confidence, success, and engagement. I really like the role of educator-coach, one who can help a child succeed and learn with happiness and success. Who can deny that this is a primary goal of every educator?

I'll embrace this new emphasis with the following questions:
  • What does each child need to learn and progress both with the classroom program and learning in general?
  • How can I plan and facilitate the classroom program so children are getting what they need regularly?
  • What can I offer for home study so that children are practicing and building skill and knowledge in enjoyable, profitable ways?  (the homework buffet).
  • How will I help children develop their "learning to learn" skills, routines, and efforts.
I'll begin this goal with a review of students' latest efforts, and tweaking next week's program to reflect their work and need.

After that, I'll make more time to talk with the students and listen to their needs. Then I'll respond to those needs by updating classroom learning areas and schedule focus.

In every way, I'll turn my efforts back to the individuals in my classroom, and away from the bigger issues in the organization for now. As far as my interest in broader education issues and potential, I'll keep that conversation alive with writing, tweets, chats, and conference/edcamp participation.  

It's a wonderful new world of learning and teaching thanks to social media and professional learning networks (PLNs).  I especially want to thank today's moderator, Starr Sackstein, the #satchat founders and moderatorsBrad Currie and Scott Rocco, and the many other moderators of #satchat including Shelley Burgess, David Culberhouse, Darrin Jolly, Amy Illingworth, Billy Krawkower Jay Graham (Indonesia), Holly Fairbrother (Singapore), and Andrea Stringer (Australia).