Nervously thrilled…that pretty much sums it up.
It is the first week of July. The reality is just beginning to sink in that the intensity of June has truly ended and, yes, as a teacher, I have entered my summer hiatus. HOWEVER, my thoughts have rapidly shifted from the wrapping up of an awesome year in a grade 2 classroom as a 9 year veteran of the primary world, to a jump into a 4/5 combined junior classroom, 1:1 iPads, and being included as a member in an exciting TLLP MakerSpace project awarded to my colleague Adele Stanfield.
As educators know, saying goodbye to one group of students at the end of June simply means that our thinking resets to the new challenges which surely will be presented by the next cohort in September… How can I better connect, engage and excite a passion for learning in each and every one of them through the programming I offer, and the manner in which I strive to build a classroom culture and teach within it? I am pondering how to mesh Making with curriculum expectations, and how to make it a motivating compliment to the inquiry-based push at our school; but more, I am thinking about how MakerSpace is part of a teaching philosophy AND a learning philosophy. I need to expand my mind and skill set to being a Maker-educator, and that of my students to being capable Maker-learners! YIKES.
This morning I followed a Twitter link to Jackie Gerstein’s blog (full of thought provoking ideas) and read her post about the various forms which Maker Education can take. It set me at ease to see that, much like programming for Inquiry in primary classrooms, I can choose a model and align my teaching practises to scaffold my students into being productive Makers who, ultimately, have creative freedom to meet learning goals through self-designed pathways. Gerstein’s ideas have helped me make the big leap between theory and beginning to plan for next year.
Nervously thrilled…I begin the journey.