I have found that in this past year, no matter what I was presenting on, I started my sessions in a similar way. I have thought about cutting this part out, to give participants more time to work, but I believe it is a 10 minutes well spent. I believe it helps to set the mindset for shifts.
I usually start with a video, I have two go-to vids. I use these to not only create some levity, but I use them as a jumping off point to discuss the "why" for change in education. *I got both videos from watching George Courus speak on two different occasions- Thanks, George!
After watching these videos, I pose a question, using the same picture...
This is always my favorite part because the discussions are amazing. There is talk about classroom design, the 4 Cs, technology, fear, failure, excitement, unknown. We get to talk about the need to be adaptable and agile because things are changing so quickly. We discuss the idea that we are no longer the "keepers of all the knowledge". The idea that students may know more about something than we do. This causes many to be uncomfortable. I tell them that this is exciting to me...that I LOVE learning from students (children and adults)! It empowers them as learners and solidifies the learning for them. I talk about the fact that I learn something new every time I am in a classroom or leading professional development. (I always call out that new learning as it happens in real time...you should see the smiles). We talk about having to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, risk taking and failing forward. There is some squirming and worried looks during this part. But then through discussion, I see that relax...a bit.
There is always some blame on "technology" for students attention spans and need for instant gratification. To me, that is a moot point. Our job is to serve the people in front of us...right now. Placing blame doesn't do anyone any good. Our time is better spent figuring out how to meet the needs of our students. We need to stop thinking that teaching is about us, because it isn't...it's about them, our students.
So WHY do we need to change how we do education? We need to because our students deserve better, our students need better. There is an urgency here to change. If we aren't in a constant state of change, we will be left behind and so will our students. That is not an option. So once there is no longer the question of WHY...we roll into the HOW...
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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