I love blogging and journaling. My only problem is writing out to other people and posting. Over the semester, I have gained more confidence in writing things out, not really caring about whether or not anyone actually reads or takes an interest in what I say. In a way, writing the blogs has helped me reflect on everything we have learned. It also allowed me to self-reflect and see where I can do better in regard to teaching. It also gave me ideas and got me thinking about possible solutions. If I proceed with teaching, the blog will definitely be something I keep up. It’s like an online diary in a sense, and if anybody stumbles upon it, then they can add their thoughts, and we can get a conversation going.
Discussion and sharing ideas, at least for me, is really helpful. And I would like to see more efforts be directed toward self-reflection and sharing ideas. Everyone has their own experience, but no teacher is alone in their experience. That should be one of the first orders of business: creating a network of people you can talk to. I think schools should make those groups. I know time and money is a factor, but I think it is worth having teachers come together and share teaching styles, problems, and so on. As a new teacher, that would be something I would like to start; having all of the teachers communicate and be on the same page. Having a stronger community of teachers can ensure that everyone gets included. There won’t be old man Jones in Room 353 at the end of the hall that everyone knows, but nobody talks to.
Getting better at something doesn’t happen overnight. It takes small steps of getting better to see a difference. So, keeping track and planning out little goals can allow you to see how far you have come. When I was putting together all of my materials in summary, I saw everything I actually accomplished. I was thinking that I had gone nowhere. However, after reflecting, I saw how much I have changed and how much I have taken away from keeping this “journal”. I tend to keep an open-mind and try to see the other sides of the x-sided figure. I will hear thoughts out until the end, but I will sort out what I think is bad or good based on my experiences. If I see something I like, I will not be afraid to try it. This allows for a transition into what I thought was useful and not useful.
Although I agree with the things NCTM says, that’s pretty much where it ends. I just agree. There is no real room for debate. However, I do think the materials can be used and modified in ways we have learned over the semester. So, in that, I can definitely find some use. So, I could potentially take some topic and transform it into a game by tweaking based on materials and the lesson. There is definitely some promise in the materials, so long as careful consideration is taken into account when forming lessons.
Another thing I found useful was video-taping the lesson and reflecting on it. I think that is a good idea, though there are many issues regarding the use of video in a classroom. Now, to expound on this: We have technology. Since we have technology, most of what we do can be online. We can, potentially, speak to people thousands of miles away in different countries. There are always technical difficulties, but the point is that was can talk with people and we don’t have to be left in the dark. We can have web seminars and include everyone. We don’t have to have people flying in from whichever country they come from. There can be a live feed we log into and watch, being able to send in questions through the feed. (It’s like the Twitcam? Thing, if that’s what you call it.) Something like this would be just as useful. Communication, in general, is useful. And, now, there are so many avenues of communication where you can take your pick.
In the future, I will definitely try to make my blog bigger and broadcast it. By sharing my experiences, I will be able to offer others some insight that they can agree or disagree with. And I think that will be the most useful to me. In the moment, you think that your views are the only views, but everyone has different thinking styles. People surprise you by thinking in different ways, and we should keep that in mind when teaching students. They think in different ways as well, and we need to be able to give them multiple ways to approach a problem. That is another thing I will take into a future classroom. The students need to be the top priority when coming up with lessons.
In all, as a future teacher, I will keep an open mind and take in other ideas. I will continue to build a network of people that I can talk to about experiences and problems in the classroom. (As well as talking about the things that work.) I will do that by creating multiple outlets and sharing the blog posts relentlessly until some unsuspecting soul stumbles upon it in their searches. Sooner or later, more and more people will see it. I will use NCTM as more of a springboard for information and materials, but I will try to broaden my horizons with other groups that I find. To close, this semester was very eye-opening, and I learned how much technology can help with communication and how much building a network of people can help you not feel alone in your experiences.