Reaching the Peak: Pathways to Passion

17 de Apr de 2015

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Reaching the Peak: Pathways to Passion

  1. The Student is the Center
  2. Learning Today: Constructivism Project-based Learning Inquiry Learning Problem-based Learning Service Learning Self-directed Learning Personalized Learning Differentiated Instruction Inclusion Balanced Assessment Literacy & Numeracy Google Classroom Power School Curriculum Redesign UBD, PBL, UDL, CTF Interdisciplinary Learning Student Engagement Student Empowerment Cross Curricular Competencies Student Voice and Choice
  3. Retrieved from “What did you do in school today?”, Canadian Education Association, 2009
  4. 23
  5. Are you ready…..for change? Are you ready… change? Again?
  6. Interview Skills for Education Students 27 We need to ask more WHAT IF, WHY and HOW questions vs. When, Where & What questions
  7. Visible Learning: Research of John Hattie 800 meta-analysis studies
  8. Teacher Led or Student-Centered?
  9. What is my role? Teacher? Facilitator? Designer? Coach? Surface or Deep Learning?
  10. Climbing Higher: Time to Lighten the Load What are you going to "leave at basecamp" in order to lighten your load to help get you and your kids to the peak?

Notas del editor

  1. Are you enjoying the conference? What do you think of Banff and this beautiful location. Let’s thank the MYC Council one more time for their work in bringing us together here in Banff (Applause). Now the theme of this year’s conference is “Climbing Mountains together”, so has anyone done anything “mountain related while in Banff: hiking, skiing, mountain climbing? No, shopping with a mountain view does not count! I love the mountains, and I’m not sure if you heard the music I was playing, but every time I see the mountains I think of my Mom and her favorite musician John Denver. Anyone know who he is? Rocky mountain high?? So much for promoting an old folk star from the 70s. Promote the Calgary Flames
  2. We are not hear to talk about mountain climbing, but we will use it as a metaphor for the work we do as middle level educators today. I am a Middle Years lifer although I have never formally taught in a “middle school” – I have taught and been an administrator in jr. high, K-9, K-7, Jr./Sr. High – I earned these grey hairs. It was with great hope that I moved into post-secondary thinking that my hair might return to its natural color, but alas. But I feel very fortunate, however, to work with pre-service middle level teachers, many who are here today. Give a whoop out. And a quiz for you. What are the 3Rs of education? Perfect – I was not wanting to rescind your teacher’s certificate. Remember, as Sigmund Brouwer states, teaching is “20% curriculum, and 80% connections”
  3. We are living in extremely interesting times as educators – the most exciting times since I began teaching after Jim Keegstra got fired for promoting hatred and not teaching the SS curriculum. But those were dark times and I think we are finally coming out into a lighted and enlightened world. Take Alberta, for example. Inspiring Ed is exactly that….it is INSPIRING! However, let’s not get lost in the forest on the way to the top. Audience participation time – please stand up and recite the following “initiatives” currently clogging up our pathways.
  4. How about we replace all of those initiatives with one word? PASSION. Passion that keeps us going in working with these crazy middle school kids, PASSION that gets ignited in our students under our watchful eye. PASSION that makes us go into creative problem solving mode when we are told to do more with less. PASSION that gets us up in the morning to tackle the next mountain and to truly live, as Allan Kehler reminded us of yesterday. But what if, rather than doing all the heavy work ourselves of climbing mountains, we worked with our students?
  5. Robyn Jackson states that “We Should Never Work Harder Than Your Students”. Yeah right, and kids LOVE to do homework too. But how do we engage the learners of today? In the classrooms of today? With the Knowledge, skills and attributes that we possess? At what level of engagement are your students? Now if you can answer those questions, I would like to meet with you later and try to talk you into writing a doctorate dissertation on this very topic.
  6. What can we do to move beyond power and control OVER our students, and trying to REWARD them into being engaged. I teach Year 1 to Year 4 students at Red Deer College, and some of my toughest work is convincing students, that it is not about the grade, it is about the learning and the feedback to help us grow. The most common question from 1st year students: “Is this going to be on the test?” and “Will you make me a Study Guide?” I finally tricked them all this year by eliminating final exams and replacing them with school observations, a portfolio and an exit interview. Take that students! So what can we do to move them to that level of self actualization when they feel empowered and truly love to learn? Imagine what that would be like.
  7. Okay this is the part that people usually say, “Brent, get your head out of the clouds”. “You’re somewhere back in Kenya planning your next trip to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro while we are back home sweating it out in the trenches. But hey, what’s wrong with thinking about Kenya. And if any of you want any info about Kenya or anything else that you see in this presentation, please help yourself to my business card at the end.
  8. For it was here that I met some of the most engaged and empowered individuals of my life: students and teachers, right here from Central Alberta. These kids decided to fund raise to build a school in rural Kenya. And once that was done, they decided that they should visit their school and help out even more. This is where I came along, and followed in their footsteps by bringing some Central Alberta teachers with me to work side by side with Kenyan teachers. People like Melanie Grant who asked me if it was okay to bring a suitcase of Math manipulates with her. Who was I to say NO, and if you know Melanie….no one puts Melanie in a corner!
  9. How could we not say YES when the teachers asked us to help them to teach Biology through gardening, in a place where students are actually graded by their garden plots, and in a place that suffers from drought.
  10. Well you teach them how to collect water. You bring in plastic pipes and show them how to irrigate. You teach them how to plant seeds and nourish gardens, and before you know it.
  11. You have a prize winning garden that now only won the students accolades from the Ministry, but
  12. Helped to feed all of the children and members of the community. That is truly how you GROW a community….it takes PASSION
  13. Say Yes More than you say No. Do we just want our students to exist? Or do we want them to live? Because, like it or not folks, these are critical times for our youth.
  14. Discuss at your tables what is happening here, and why these offers a challenge for us as middle level educators.
  15. We all want change to make our schools and societies better. But, it is hard to change....especially with so many distractions to our work.
  16. But I don’t want to change. I am comfortable living in my peaceful valley. The mountain ahead looks pretty daunting. I don’t know if I am ready for that kind of climb. I’m not sure if I have the necessary skills and equipment. Can’t you just let me be for a little while longer? Please…
  17. Well – I always believe that the answer is in the Room, and of course Google can solve all of our problems. So we can do this the “high tech way” or the fun “old-fashioned way” Snowball fight.
  18. Now – what if we helped each other through the obstacles. What if we weren’t afraid to take risks. What if we celebrated those who are doing things differently in their classrooms? Either return to the Google Doc or pick up some of those snowballs, and now provide a solution on the back and then toss it back into the crowd.
  19. Well, that was fun. What if…..
  20. This is my favorite “What if….” question that I received through Twitter last week. I have put some “what if” questions on your tables for you to ponder. Discuss them or tweet them and they reply to them. There are no right/wrong answers…..only possibilities.
  21. Great work – keep tweeting. I know it is hard being a middle level teacher today, but it does depend on a few things
  22. We live in a place where newspaper columnists bent on a “back to basics” approach to education rally the “anti discovery math” folks to go against the good intentions of student centered learning as envisioned in Inspiring Education
  23. Even well respected educators and researchers weight in. John Hattie in his meta-analysis of over 800 meta-analysisisis, discovered that
  24. Teacher-led approaches to teaching, like “direct instruction” lead to greater student achievement, and that approaches such as inquiry and project-based learning had less impact on achievement. What! This rocked my “constructivist world”
  25. It was only when you got to the final pages buried deep in page 343 that you discovered that this results were gathered from standardized tests, and that the author himself stated that these approaches are better for “surface learning” than “deep learning”. And what engages kids today? Memorizing tests or feeling empowered to make a difference in their communities?
  26. And suddenly, education is a huge election issue, as if politicians really are the best people to make decisions as to how to educate today’s youth. We are the professionals, why don’t you ask us?
  27. And of course, since they won’t ask us, then we have to do our citizen duties and ASK THEM. How will these cuts impact my kids in my class?
  28. Will low taxes lead to a World Class Education? Will more private schools and a focus on the “basics” make us world leaders?
  29. Will spending more money on education make us better? Or do we have to just think differently, and do differently?
  30. Like Red Deer teacher David Martin who gives feedback instead of grades and tells the world about how wonderful it is. He has courage. Why does he do it? It’s not to get his name in the newspapers, but to provide a new perspective on teaching and learning
  31. To provide a different view, a brighter view that will help students be more engaged and feel more in control of their learning.
  32. People like Dave, and the others who I have spoke of, share one thing in common…..and that is HOPE.
  33. Cause we know that today’s kids are carrying a lot more weight around than what is just in their backpacks. It is touch today to be a kid.
  34. So if we are going to help kids climb mountains, and help them pursue pathways that appear impenetrable at times, we are going to have to join them along the journey. We will need to get rid of some of our baggage (and honestly, do you really need all of that to climb a mountain?) and go up the mountain with them.
  35. So teachers, it is time to lighten your loads. You can respond to this by texting me using Poll Everywhere. You can click on the Google link I posted on Twitter, or if you have a bit more courage, you can jump up and shout it out to the rest of us. Are you ready to lighten your loads? You have two minutes!
  36. So as we approach lunch, and come to an end to our time together. I hope this journey with me up the mountain hasn’t been in vain.
  37. But don’t be too big a rush to get to the top of the mountain. Recite Quote. Enjoy the journey that being a middle years teacher brings us every single day.
  38. And of course, from one of the most twisted minds of our time. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So….get on your way. And in the words of my buddy John Denver, I hope you have “sunshine on your shoulders” and look for the bright lights that are in our classrooms Thank you. Thank you MYC and safe travels!