Good ideas are like coconuts

I have this saying that I picked up some time ago that I really like.

“You know it’s a good idea if just after you hear it, you think: well I should have thought of that.”

We spend a lot of time as teachers telling students to take control of their own learning.  At least that’s definitely a common call at my school.  And despite this, we do a fair amount of sitting on our hands and waiting for professional development to happen to us.  Not that we don’t look at cool new ways to teach, but that we’re not actively looking for new ways to teach.

Well I just realized that this is what I’m finally doing.  I am taking control of my own learning and professional development.  It took just under two years of mediocrity for me to figure out about the blogs.  I only started a google reader 2 weeks ago, and I already have 23 edublogs I’m following.  On top of that, I’ve finally gone out to BUY books that sound like they’ll help.  It’s easier to justify $20 for a book you might like if it makes you more likely to keep your comfortably salaried teaching position.

But it’s this blog that’s really doing it for me.  I am pretending that I’ve already got readers, so I’ll write.  But it’s really just me finally doing some of that reflection that they say is so important.

What really drove this home was sitting in a summer physics class, and realizing that I already had done most of the experiments, and had already looked for the depth of concepts on my own.  I didn’t wait for someone to come along and give me greater depth of basic physics knowledge (b/c that BS in physics was about as deep as a blow up pool).  I did the labs, I asked myself the hard questions.

The next step is bringing that into the classroom more.  Showing the students just how I go deeper.  How I explore and really flesh out my own understanding.  And invite them to head down the rabbit hole.

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