First off I want to start with this:
I LOVE TEACHING!!!!
I have struggled with whether I should keep teaching for some time now or if I should think about a career change. In personalized learning, I have had more time to connect with students in just one week. So far the students are loving the setup. I know that I am able to reach more students and help more students with this setup. I also have the opportunity to use my creativity to innovate and solve problems.
Flying a Plane while Building it
Have you ever tried building a plane while flying it? Well, I would describe this week as building a plane while flying it and all of the supplies are still on the ground. I’m going to try to paint you a picture of what happened on Monday of this week:
We designed question banks to hold all of the test & quiz questions based on each standard. This allows Canvas to generate a different quiz for each student each time they take a test or quiz. Now picture this: 60 students taking their quizzes, things are going well, until they see that Canvas has graded their correct answers as incorrect. This did not just happen for one student, but almost every student! As a matter of fact, I think there was only 1 student the entire day that took a quiz that only had correct questions on it. I managed to create questions that were missing words, directions that were not clear on rounding, and even multiple correct answers. It was crazy, but such a great opportunity! As teachers, we were both able to show students that we make mistakes and that it is ok to make mistakes. Our students learned that we are approachable and that we are on their side and hear to help. We kept telling students to let us know what needed to be fixed and then we actually went in and fixed their grades. The students were very appreciative and it was great to hear comments like, “you actually care about us and how we do.” This statement is why we both teach and it was so great to start building those relationships with students so early in the term.
Flying and still building
We are still working to get the questions banks completed, assignments loads, quizzes loaded, scripts loaded and more into Canvas. Honestly, there were days this week where I built a quiz as students were in class for them to take as soon as I was done. In this, our students have learned to work with us and are seeing that we are human. This second unit is particularly tough as we are changing how we have taught this unit and need to create more material, but the next units should be easier especially as we get into a groove. It is great to know that as we finish this we will have essentially created a course that will run itself!
It’s not a joke I promise
This might be the most mind-blowing part of the entire week. Fourth block is senior statistics. School gets out at 3:45. At 3:37 Otap and I were talking through some things and we looked up to see all of the students still working. Mind you seniors on a Friday, second semester, in case you were wondering, most normally start packing up at 3:30 if they could. I reminded them that class ended in 8 minutes…..there was no movement, they were all still working. At 3:40 we had to tell them that they needed to pack up because they needed to go home. I don’t know about you, but that is a great way to end the week and amazing to see how much students work with personalized learning!
This is hard work, but it is worth it. We have had a great week with students, building relationships, and learning.