At the conclusion of every year I have my students write; ‘Archer Survival Tips’ for the incoming students….suffice to say they are fantastic!
Itemes such as; ‘Glasses on? Park your behind and mind your own business for the day, he didn’t sleep well (probably a Fire Call in the AM)’ or ‘Hydrate with Coffee….Often, no really I mean it often!’. Sometimes you get the odd surprise, which occurred last year! I seen; ‘She does worksheets, He does games, So and so does this and Archer does it ALL, you are in good hands’.
This one hit me! It was humbling and also empowering!
Someone once said; “Technology is such a regular part of my life, I don’t consciouly consider it” I love the old age analogy this person used; “Do fish realize they’re wet? I swim in technology” this guy has a constant refreshing outlook on Education daily! He empowers and infuses a love for the profession in others…thanks Brian for all you do!
For me this hit stuck with me when I read it in CodeBreaker! Just like Brian Aspinall, swims in technology, I often find myself swimming in anything and everything that infuses a love and desire to be resilient in learning! To get behind and support my kids (yes, they are mine…I torment, tease and believe in them just like my own kids, therefore I call them my kids) means knowing them inside and out, understanding the backgrounds, interestes, strength and weaknesses, desires and dreams!
How we think about teaching can change, how I see education is drastically different then when I originally taught! My own pedagogy has altered many times….because of my kids every September! I learn from them everyday, they teach me just as much if not more then I do for them…..we empower, encourage each other to embrace the failures, mistakes we make on a regular bases! It is within those moments that we see, and truly understand the ‘Ah ha moment’ which is even better when I get to do it!
Anyone who knows me, understands my fear of math! I use that and share that with my kids to get them to embrace their knowledge, stand up teach and support their peers and me while I stumble (sometimes gracioulsy on purpose, mostly not…..often saying, I was hoping you would catch that with a wink, wink…..teacher talk for ‘well, that was a close blunder infront of the kids’). The kids see and learn that I am not perfect, nor are they! They see and learn that I make mistakes often and so do they! They see and learn that together we can help one another become better versions of ourselves within those failures! Its about rapport and connections!
In todays world Computational Thinking has become more and more evident! Its become the nor, the driving force within the classroom! When we hit problems, roadblocks and unknown we Decompose and analyse Patterns (Recognition) and apply them if able from other learning to what we are tackling in the moment (or find a friend within the room who deciphered the last issue). Partaking in the Climate Action Project every October allows us to look at Abstraction to focus on vital, important information and finally apply algorithm design to work through the problem at hand!
I have a student this year whom I am running through the gauntlet of Computational Thinking to plan, implement a program specifically that allows him to be successful at school. Infact I do this every year when building rapport with ALL my students….I am trying to make those fish realize that failure is natural, that learning has to involve resilience no different then understanding that that fish is wet! I teach my kids first…..some people are going to jump down my throat on that one, but creative, influential educators do just that…..we find ways to pull the curriculum into Our Kids interests, strengths to work on their weaknesses!
It has been said, that we need to teach students how to code, because the internet is connected as Aspinall says in CodeBreaker to everything – literally.
No, I believe what Brian is saying and what our profession should be doing is teaching the steps to Computational Thinking and apply this to everything! The internet is tied to everything, but the true strength within that is the power and ability in the hands of my kids to hardness the ability to connection globally to understand and develope real world problem solving skills that will empower them to use their inner voice that touch emotionally with their dreams, hopes and interests! I teach my students to have a voice……to empower that voice through real world learning that is student driven with technology tools to gather, sort through, connect, plan and fail, re-look at problem and fail again and again and again until low and behold they find a soultion.
Technology is what makes my students swim naturally in this world! It allows me to do it all! Swimming as fish within Our classroom means unlocking the desire to be perfect, its about accepting, harnessing and relishing failures and overcome those with the power of resilience!
Its about the power of YET! Instead of I can’t do it, its I cannot do it yet….but I will get it because I am far from done!!
Are you far from done fighting with your students?!?! Make them your kids….start swimming alongside them and do it ALL! Its empowering! What / how will you swim this year?!?
This article was originally published on Joe’s blog over here.
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