Sometime last December an opportunity to teach at the University of Oshkosh literally fell into my lap. The professor for the one and only instructional technology course for students in the college of education was going on sabbatical, and the school was looking for adjuncts to pick up her classes. I applied. I interviewed. I was offered two sections on the spot. It was truly something I had wanted to do since entering into the field of education, so I was beyond excited for the opportunity.
I began planning immediately. I tried to think of what my professors had done that I really liked when I was in college. They:
made me feel as though they cared and formed relationships
gave me practical knowledge as well as theory
remembered that we all had lives outside of school (I happened to have 3 kids while finishing my bachelors)
made me laugh
told me stories
challenged me to think differently
And I tried to remember what I didn’t like:
when they were super unorganized (I had a prof that wore her button-up shirt inside out once)
the work seemed like it was designed only to keep me busy
they lectured – all. the. time
there was no “give” to their methods (due dates were due dates no matter what, how I showed my learning was nonnegotiable, etc)
they clearly didn’t care
I also thought about my experiences in the professional development that I provide to teachers, and how I have been working toward providing PD that is more personalized and that has voice, choice and pacing options. I wanted that for my students as well because I wanted to model that type of classroom environment and learning. I wanted to model innovative thinking. I wanted to show the importance of making connections.
In true “first year teacher fashion”, I’m not sure how much of this I did. My good intentions were definitely there. We read the Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros (clearly I have an affinity for this book). I tried to come up with innovative ways for students to do their weekly reflections/discussions on the c