The Teacher in Me

I can’t say enough about how much I’ve learned in these past three weeks. Project-based learning makes so much sense in a so many ways that I find myself frustrated with many of my past teachers who were much bigger fans of memorization and lectures. And I can understand where both have their place, but to use solely one or the other seems dangerous when the potential for leaving behind kids who don’t learn well under the method presented.

I do feel like I learned a lot from the other students in my class, and I learned a lot about myself. This is the kind of environment I hope to emulate in my future classrooms–all classrooms should be a place for open and respectful discussion and learning.

On top of this, I think the approach of working smart to avoid burnout is a really good one, and creating student-driven projects has the double bonus of forcing students to learn along with you, rather than watching you tell them what you’ve learned. It’s the same adage for writing: show, don’t tell. I look forward to helping students build their skills for learning.

One critique is that I do wish we’d been able to present our regions’ intros to the class, to show what we’d learned but also to see what other people had learned too. I think I learned a lot about Southeast Alaska but not much about anywhere else. So that would be one thing I hope future classes get a chance to do.

But seriously, thanks for the experience. I can’t believe how much we got done in three weeks!

One thought on “The Teacher in Me”

  1. I really like your comparison to the writing process with the phrase “show, not tell.” Watching an educator “tell” their knowledge in front of the class without any opportunities for activities, synthesizing material, and making connections is dry and boring. Through “showing,” the educator gets to guide the students on their explorative journey without force-feeding them information or getting in the way of learning.

    I agree on the idea that groups could have shared their intros with each other sooner. I would have liked to learn more about the other regions of Alaska with the help of my peers — as part of the process of writing the book. We also could have helped each other with editing sooner on in the process.

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