First of all, thanks Julie for taking the time to create weekly blog prompts to help those of us who need a bit of help with getting started in the blogging world 🙂
Going with the theme of one word goals that I have seen on several blogs, I decided that I will focus on empowerment for this school year.
I am naturally a shy introvert, though you wouldn’t know it to talk to me. I tend to hang out on the edges of social interactions both online and in real life. I need to make a conscious effort to push myself outside of my comfort zone, to give myself permission to post a blog or tweet even if it’s not perfect. I also need to empower myself to be more active in stating my ideas and opinions in our department meetings.
I also feel that this word applies to how I would like to teach my classes. I would like to empower my students to take a more self driven approach to their learning. To encourage them to note when they are struggling or succeeding and adjust their learning accordingly. I am trying to create a more blended learning environment, possibly leading to a flipped model and I think that focusing on student empowerment will fit well with this teaching style.
Last year I encouraged students to come in for tutoring or complete online remedial practice worksheets if they felt they were struggling with a concept but very few took me up on in. Thinking back on it, students are frequently told exactly what to do, “Complete problems 1-5 on page 213” or “Be able to use the Pythagorean Theorem when given a,b and c.” They don’t know how to react when told to look over something and determine what they need to know. By encouraging empowerment and teaching them how to self advocate they will be much better prepared not only for my class, but also for college and career.
How can I teach students how to determine what they need to know in order to complete the objective of the lesson? What can I do to encourage them to take personal responsibility over what they are learning rather then waiting for me to tell them exactly what to complete? These are questions that I will need to work on over the next week before classes start in 10 days!
While it won’t be perfect, I think focusing on empowerment will remind me what kind of class I want to have and will help keep me on track for the upcoming school year.
Now I just need to empower myself to just click post before I over-analyze everything that I just wrote 🙂