What struck me in Week 5
Watching the latest video, what really struck me what thinking about the comment of George Couros about creating meaningful connections for our students, for instance about videos online: if you can learn it through videos then you do you need to teach it? Teachers need to use their students as authentic audience and create what makes sense for their students.
Get out there and create something!
I like Katie Martin’s vision about shifting the culture toward innovation, creativity. It’s not right to have a culture which promotes teachers to feel judged and become defensive about what they are not doing or what they could do better. How to move from pockets to culture? We need to PUSH because if we wait for people to be “ready”, it’ll remain innovation in pockets.
About Expectations: I see that waiting for people to be ready is not the right attitude. We need to push. I like Katie’s approach: we need to say that we are going to do something together (we have a shared goal), then you can practice and we talk again. If people agree, it sets expectations and those expectations help take a leap into ACTION and move forward.
This session talked a lot about “trust”, which is a recurrent theme for me as I want to really want to improve the culture in my environment and it has to start with trust: trusting myself, making teachers trust themselves and their students and trusting one another.
This latest video of the IMMOOC got me thinking about the culmination of my learning and I tried to make a summary here…
My story of innovation
During the IMMOOC, somehow, I found myself “at ease” because I (virtually) was surrounded by like-minded people whose ideas resonated with mine and therefore, I was comfortable yet challenged! I think that I grasped the concept of innovative mindset and I am seeing, through the discussion, the reading and my reflections, that I “think” innovative but “acting innovative” does not always depend on me. I sometimes feel frustrated that I can be stopped from innovating but the IMMOOC was a constant reminder that I should refuse to give up, I must persevere and strive (resist!!!). Here is a bit of my story about innovation/innovating:
I long was unaware of my potential. I was not a great student, sometimes even a bad student! so I did not really believe that I had potential. When I started teaching, because of my own experience of a student with bad teachers (seriously… middle school was awful), one of my aim was NOT TO TEACH like those. I learned a lot, as a student, about bad teaching, believed me! I was always interested in “alternative” approaches to teaching as I realized that it was all about presenting information to students, engaging them and creating a relationship (seeing students as PERSONS before seeing them as students). I somehow started incubating innovation by getting interested in the Silent Way (an approach to teaching foreign languages that does not rely on providing a model for students to repeat but LETTING THEM LEARN by not interfering but guiding them with making “awarenesses” so they could OWN their learning and not feel that they were copying, because LEARNING IS A CREATIVE PROCESS, not a CONSUMER one).
I was all alone in my own little innovative tasks in my French classroom. Every time I would attend a workshop with other teachers following this approach, I would come back so motivated and refreshed and then, again, I would feel demotivated, isolated and sometimes inefficient after a few months. I needed to reconnect with like-minded people and this IMMOOC is an opportunity to prove that developing a PLN is ESSENTIAL to success!
Slowly, as the time passed and I remained resilient and continued to use this approach and saw the benefits, I became more experienced and, within my community, I was more of a person to turn to for advice, I could share about my practices. I realized that technology could be a way to communicate my ideas. I started to create videos to share about my classroom successes.
What was interesting was that this innovation, which was not recognized locally (in my own school), was liked outside! People were grateful they could see those videos.
I felt valued and I became aware of my “I can power”, I could create things (not difficult things, EVERYDAY THINGS) that had value for others.
It increased my confidence and I slowly become more and more excited by educational technology. I become a Tech-Savvy teacher and then, I was really good at it.
When I saw teachers appreciating what I was doing and being so thankful for the little help I could give them through my “tech support”, it was like catching opportunities to not only share my knowledge and creativity but also learn and push myself.
So far, I have only experienced innovation in pockets but I am determined to change this.
It’s not just up to me but this IMMOOC decided me to not only continue my own journey of innovation but also PUSH my school leaders even further and dare trying again and again. I will not stop! In other contexts, I saw that perseverance was the key to success and that failing was not a condition, it was a moment. You have got to BOUNCE BACK and move forward. One cannot give up to easily.