Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pushing Boundaries

There comes a point in your career when you begin to feel that something needs to change. You begin to slightly resent the mundane things in your routine. You try to challenge yourself to push past this, but you find it hard to let go of that feeling. Why am I not excited about going back? Why am not really looking forward to the school year starting? I was really struggling with these questions as the summer drew to a close.

It was then that I realized I needed to push myself out of my comfort level. I needed to do this to get the excitement back. I needed to do this for my students. If I could force myself to make this change, I would be a better teacher for my students.

Sometime late in the summer, I made the decision to implement a rather innovative (for me) idea. I am asking my students to create something to demonstrate their learning each marking period. I no longer want them to be consumers of knowledge in my class. I want them to be able to take the information and create something new as a result. In doing this, I am hoping to unleash the creativity in my students. By doing this, I am hopeful that my students look at innovative ways to demonstrate their understanding of concepts.

I am really concentrating on this one addition this year. I have a bad habit of getting so caught up in the latest fad, app, or program that I end up trying too many things. Forcing myself to focus on this one activity each marking period will help simplify things a bit. Do I expect this to be easy? Absolutely not. Will there be bumps in the road? Yes. But for me, focusing on this one change was enough to get the juices flowing again. I hope it does the same for my students.


2 comments:

Gary Kidd said...

Outstanding! Admire your courage. Don't let the naysayers get you down.

Jonathon Wennstrom said...

Jim,

Hats off to you for trying something new and for allowing creativity from your students. It takes courage to push the boundaries and I'm certain your students will benefit from it! Thanks for modeling what we should all be doing!

Jon