Sunday, July 08, 2018

Uplifting Teaching and Learning: What new ideas and practices are you forwarding in the year ahead?

Summer is a fertile time for education ideas and development. It's a time when educators are not busy every single minute with lots of time-on-task activities related to students, paperwork, families, colleagues, and administration. Instead we are often well rested and have good time to think, read, research, and plan for the busy teaching/learning days ahead.

As I think about this, I am thinking of the new teaching I'll do in the year ahead. Rather than brand new, most of my new initiatives have a lot to do with deepening and bettering my practice in the following areas:

  • math education with a focus on a process-approach to standards-based, scaffolded project/problem based learning including reading, writing/composition, design, presentation, and debate
  • STEAM: the synthesis of science, technology, engineering, art, and math in hands-on, collaborative problem/project based learning
  • Embedding social emotional learning activities into the academic program regularly
  • supporting my colleagues' leadership and efforts in the areas of social studies, writing, reading, and science
  • continuing to develop and deepen our efforts to teach the science standards with and in the local environment with a focus on stewardship and in conjunction with local environmental organizations such as SUASCO, Audubon's Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Sudbury Valley Trustees, National Wild and Scenic River System, OARS, and more.
To do this well requires digging into the details over the summer months. I enjoy this detailed work and as I look at this back-and-forth summer study--school year activity routine, I notice that it has been a fruitful approach with regard to bettering my practice. 

In the new school year, I'll listen carefully and work to synthesize this approach with the many other development processes and practices that exist within the school system, some which are inclusive and modern and others which are more traditional and hierarchical. I hope to read Culberhouse's research this summer too as one way to re-look at the synthesis of old and new think and practices as well as a way to advocate for more modern ways to collaborate and develop our teaching/learning practices and processes in ways that truly elevate what we do with and for the students we teach.