I met with a group of teachers yesterday after school to talk about creating a new course for our district. We are creating a Financial Algebra course in the PBL format for a fourth year course option. It was wonderful and exciting to meet with a group of teachers so interested in creating a course which will be both beneficial to students and fun to learn. I am finding myself excited about the opportunity to participate in this collaboration. I was asked to be a part of this group, and that in itself is an honor. I consider several of these teachers to be strong professional educators and I am excited to learn from them. I have made several attempts at PBL in my classes on my own, but feel they have fallen short in several ways. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from teachers who have created PBL courses in the past and already feel like I have been given some insight into the creation of more effective learning.
We will be working on this course across the next semester, and will be working together on units, as well as in smaller groups. We will be presenting our units using the “critical friends” protocol to get feedback and work on improving the units together. I believe I may be finding the beginning of my restoration!
Brian Page has been instrumental in providing information he has compiled in his teaching and PD offerings. I have utilized his expertise in my own classroom and have found his knowledge and information very valuable. My colleagues were happy to see the information he has compiled and will be looking it over during break in preparation for creating this course. It is so good to have other educators and learned persons to extend our own learning and creating. I feel like I have grown as an educator more in the past 6 months since becoming active on Twitter and interacting with several educators whom I have come to respect. They are causing me to look more deeply at my own teaching practice and question my teaching and learning in ways that are stretching me and causing me to grow. For this I am grateful. I have always considered myself a professional student, but feel like I have stagnated in the past couple of years. It is good to be challenged again.
I am looking forward to the break, planning to re-group and re-plot my courses. I am now looking forward to working with my colleagues to create a new course and to learn more about teaching in the process. I believe I may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.