As I think about what to accomplish during my time with the Microsoft Innovative Expert program, I begin to seriously reflect on my teaching practice. This specifically includes how I’m using technology to increase student achievement according to my school board’s improvement plan.
The achievement piece is important because the GECDSB’s improvement plan focuses on learning in math, primary reading, creative/critical thinking, resiliency, and closing the achievement gap for students at risk.
As the theme of my blog is to encourage ingenuity in the classroom, I started to question how ingenuity can be demonstrated if students are not taught resiliency to overcome a variety of challenges they will be forced to overcome in life?
Teachers were asked to previously discuss how we enable resiliency in our teaching practice during a previous professional development session. My elementary colleagues answered the question by saying how we foster a natural resiliency in our students by ensuring each is exposed to the following;
- Caring relationships
- High expectations
- Meaningful participation to the school community
I would agree that by enabling these goals we are encouraging an overall feeling of connectedness in the learning environment. The Ontario Ministry of Education’s Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat came up with the following guidelines to building resiliency in the classroom;
1. Understanding the challenges my students face
2. Understanding the individual strengths of students
3. Getting the students to know each other
4. Setting high expectations for learning
5. Building realistic goals to achieve success
6. Ensure opportunities for meaningful participation in the classroom.
7. Promote “live” resilience in the classroom
So how can I demonstrate resiliency in my own teaching practice? My primary goal would be to enable students to be independent thinkers who can adapt and change to a variety of problems.
In regards to technology, this includes A) teaching students how to use a variety of non platform hardware devices or software platforms. B) enabling students to maximize digital literacy skills in order to fully utilize electronic resources. C) Use mobile technology to share ideas and collaborate with others outside the traditional classroom.
I look forward to continuing the conversation with colleagues and communicating what I’m doing to improve student learning.