I’m not always the best at seeing the big picture. I tend to get lost in the details. As I reflected on how far I’ve come in this journey some light bulbs have gone off. These realizations have helped contribute to a great start to my teaching year.
While I am still in the beginning stages of implementing my innovation plan for blended learning, I can see some concepts and ideas that I have learned taking shape in my classroom. I have been taking the steps to create a significant learning environment in my class. I have done less direct teaching than I ever have and my kids are learning. My students are becoming more responsible for their own learning and I am becoming the guide on the side. It is very exciting and I am really enjoying the ride this year.
How did I get here?
Reading the book Mindset: The new psychology of success several months ago gave me some insight and realizations of how I viewed learning and achievement. I created a growth mindset plan for myself and to introduce to others. What I’ve realized is that you can’t teach someone to have a growth mindset, as well as grit. What you can do is model the mindset for your students and fellow educators. My light bulb went off when I revisited my growth mindset plan and I realized how some of the elements of my plan tied into creating the significant learning environments for my students. I was struck by this slide from my presentation, in particular.
One of the things I believe that I have been successful at this year is in creating a low stakes environment for my kids and in turn they are willing to take more risks. I am not directly referring to the term, growth mindset with my kids or other educators. I have just been willing to take the risks and move out of my comfort zone and it is also helping to encourage others to do so. It’s funny to me how I am just now getting this all together in my head but as I have said in many of my posts, I get lost in the details.
Where do I go from here?
Continuing in this journey to create the blended learning environment in my class, all of this work has created a new mindfulness in me. Also, I’m getting more comfortable looking at the big picture and not losing myself in the details. Creating a BHAG and 3 Column table I can focus on the learning and growth I want to see happening for my students. By doing this I can continue to make sure my students are spending more time in the “learning zone” (Briceño) which will, in turn, make the significant learning environment possible. In addition, using UbD, I can get back to those details without getting lost in them and still focusing on the learning.
So what I want for my students is what I am learning through this program. You need to have a growth mindset to move forward. Every course, I experience the power of “yet.” I have to challenge myself beyond what I think I’m capable of. In the beginning, I struggle with understanding then usually by the end the light bulb has gone off and I put all the ideas together to create meaning and understanding. Of course, that is possible through the learning environments that have been created in the DLL program.
Putting all of this together, using my experience as a learner in this program will help me to model the growth mindset and power of yet to my learners. Using the design tools of the 3 Column table and UbD as I move forward in my innovation plan, will help to ensure the creation of the significant learning environment in my classroom and be an example to others.
Briceño, Eduardo. (2017, February 2). Transforming School from Performance to Learning. Retrieved March 12, 2017, from http://blog.mindsetworks.com/blog-page/home-blogs/entry/transforming-school-from-performance-to-learning
Dweck, Carol S. (2006) Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Ballantine Books
Fink, L.D. (2003) A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.