Wednesday, June 2, 2010

End of the year

Year three of my teaching career has flown by. I can't believe how fast the year has gone. I hate saying that because it seems that everyone says that. But I have learned that everyone says that because it is true. Time flies by especially in education. I think it has something to do with the fact that there is a beginning of the year and an end whereas other jobs just continue without any real end.

The second half of this year has been interesting. At the beginning of the semester, I was given 30 netbooks to be used in the classroom. I was of course excited, but I was also nervous. At the beginning, I almost felt guilty when we didn't use them, but I had to remember that there are so many important aspects of English that I am trying to teach.

One major part of this experience that I found rewarding was being forced to think about lessons and lesson planning. I had to go back and think about "why." I know that I should think more about this question while I am teaching/planning, but sometimes time seems to take over. It was a rich experience thinking and reworking lessons, but I found the times of collaboration to be more powerful. I enjoyed working with Cary along with the other teachers who are entrenched in technology. But the most powerful and rewarding experience was collaborating with the students. They have fresh and interesting ideas about technology and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the students in this quest for knowledge.

As I look back at the year, I find it interesting to look at how and why we have used the netbooks. I know that there are stronger ways in which I can use the netbooks and technology. I am looking forward to researching ways in which I can use them.

For the past couple of years, I have used a portfolio as a way to assess the students learning at the end of the year. Many students went back to the way in which we used, glogster, edmodo, and blogger and discussed their learning through these mediums. I would have to say that I got the strongest feedback from our use of edmodo. Numerous students talked about how edmodo allowed them to learn from each other and to voicce their opinions. The students enjoyed using the netbooks, but more importantly it enhanced their educational experience.

Finally, I am now working summer school. I did not realize how much having the netbooks in my classroom has changed me as a teacher. I walked into the classroom on the first day of summer school and said to myself, "What do I do? I don't have the netbooks." I guess the netbooks changed me as much as I hope are changing my students.