Last month I wrote a post sharing my reflections on this school year.
I also invited others to share their own, and many readers contributed their thoughts. Feel free to add your own reflections in the comments section.
Here they are:
Reflections on this school year…well, I had my first child this December, so my school year was broken into two parts. Over my maternity leave, I had an unbelieveable opportunity to learn about life through our son. I also was able to really get my feet wet with technology. I had used it in the classroom before, but I learned how to integrate it much more. I found unbelieveable resources thorugh twitter that have really enhanced my classroom. I had children who were very interested in learning with these new “tools” and “toys” I brought back to school with me in April!
I have so many lessons that I have learned. One being that there are many teachers out there willing to share what they have and hoping that you will share what you have. I love this collaboration, but am saddened by a few who do not share but take take take.
As I leave my classroom behind for a temporary break to take care of my son for awhile, I am both proud to be a teacher and I look with great anticipation to the future when I will return to a classroom once again. However, I believe this classroom will be a completely different place, full of endless possibilities with technology!
I took a semester of professional leave in the fall in order to do some writing, and to try to get some perspective on teaching; I was burnt out, exhausted, and ready to quit. By the time I came back to work, I was refreshed and excited about teaching again. This past semester has been perhaps the best of my college teaching career. So the main thing I learned is that I really need to take some time off from time to time, to remember who I am outside the classroom, so I can bring my best back into it.
You can read more at Siobhan Curious And How She Saved Her Teaching Career.
Lessons I’ve learned…
1. Kids love to publish-Need limitless space for storage -2 gig isn’t cutting it!
2. I will never ever ever do the yearbook again-
3. The more I know the more I find out I need to learn.
4. Grading 409 reports is not easy
5. Serving Lemonade while playing Lemonade Stand actually got the kids to focus on creating a spreadsheet based on the game.
6.Carpet is probably not a good idea for my room -after we create digital models we built for real-RL can be messy
7.There are so many wonderful website tools I need to explore and use more.
8.It’s not about the technology it’s about the learning!
On reflecting on the year, I think that I’ve realized that teaching is a job that has to be evolving on a continuous basis. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that there are far too many teachers who are ’stuck’ in a rut and have developed a real negative attitude towards school and especially to technology. Many teachers resent any money that goes into this area. I’m thankful that I have been able to grow as a teacher this past year and a person. I can’t wait to continue to evolve. I still have 10 years to do it!
You can read his reflections at 5 Ways To Improve My Class.
I was working as a student teacher this year when our school tech specialist listed your website as one of our must-reads on the school online bulletin. Since then, I’ve been an avid reader of your website and Twitter feeds, and I look forward to having my own classroom so I can experiment and use many of the new things I have learned from you!
Anyways, as a student teacher, I learned many things about myself and my students this year but I learned something more important – my own personal measure of success in the classroom. I wrote it in a personal blog, but I’m willing to share it here with you and your friends.
I’ll begin my reflections of a school year with an analogy I came up with – I’m on an educational journey as a lifelong learner. Technology is the vehicle I use.
The 2008-2009 school year will forever be known as “The Year of Tech” for me. Thanks to all I learned from my district’s INTECH training, NECC sessions in San Antonio, and LaCUE in Baton Rouge, I started a classroom blog (http://pnaugle.blogspot.com) and website (http://www.freewebs.com/plnaugle/ ). I set up RSS feeds to my Google Reader (yours was one of my first subscriptions) and Google Alerts. I learned from Sue Waters and others how to build my PLN. I joined several Nings and then started one for fourth grade teachers in my district (http://jppss-4thgradeteachers.ning.com). I began attending Classroom 2.0 Live webinars on Saturday mornings in January and joined Twitter in February. I presented two technology workshops to my faculty members, and won a district-wide integrating technology into lessons contest.
In my classroom I had full-time use of a 15 wireless laptop cart. My students participated in several of Jennifer Wagner’s collaborative projects. They used tons of websites to improve their skills. I used my digital camera and Flip camera to record all that we did and then we made PhotoStory, animoto, and StupeFlix videos. We made a VoiceThread as a culminating activity for our poetry unit. My students used Word to publish their writing, learned how to post comments to our blog, and add content to our wiki. We Skyped with a class in North Carolina. We compared and contrasted our two state capitol buildings.
It was a busy and rewarding year. I did not want it to end because I still had so many things I wanted to do with them. I will use my summer vacation to continue on my journey by reading, attending NECC, and planning lessons with embedded technology. I can’t wait until next year!
Thanks to everybody who shared their thoughts!
Again, feel free to leave additional reflections in the comments section.