In her new book Teaching in High Gear: My Shift Toward a Student-Driven, Inquiry-Based Science Classroom, Marsha Ratzel recounts a transformational journey marked by a gradual shift from teacher-centered to student-driven education and bolstered by a powerful virtual network of colleagues from around the world. Here’s an excerpt!
As a new book by Kaplan and Owings clearly demonstrates, many schools are mired in an education culture that’s a poor match for the needs of today’s K12 students. They need a culture re-boot – a process explored in detail by the authors and summarized by PLP Voices reviewer Sister Geralyn Schmidt.
Pulling children out for extra help can be a tricky area to navigate, writes Arwen Kuttner, reflecting on her first year in a support teacher role. “Elementary age children walk a tightrope between craving the individual attention I can give them, and the fear that others will think less of them for needing that attention. I have to normalize the experience and make them feel good about coming.” Here are some ways she works to accomplish that.
Taking the posture of a learner first, educator second requires us to understand that we will never arrive at the place of “super educator.” The truth is that even if we solve the problems facing us as a profession, the solutions will only give way to new problems. Now more than ever we need to become the learners we have always wanted our students to be. We do not need information about teaching and learning. We need revelation.
Evernote can be a great application for teachers, both to keep yourself coordinated and to facilitate student learning. School-based technology director Jennifer Carey talks educators through getting started and highlights several ways she’s used Evernote to “not only make my life a little easier as a teacher, but to help my students and my classroom stay more focused and organized.”
Integrity is a key virtue for today’s culture, says Sister Geralyn Schmidt, education technology coordinator for the Diocese of Harrisburg (PA). “In today’s world, each of us who has a digital footprint makes two impressions: one in the real world and one in the virtual world. The words and attitudes that we use in both arenas must match. When we achieve this, we become someone whom others can truly rely upon.”