Today was my last day as PYP Coordinator so now that that chapter has ended (paused?) I’m able to begin to think about moving back into the classroom.
I haven’t been in the classroom for two years and a lot has happened in that time. I discovered blogs for the first time. I joined Twitter. I participated in many PYP workshops. I have done lots of my own professional learning and facilitated others’ professional learning. I’ve been in classrooms and planning sessions from Pre-K to Grade 5 and for every single-subject. I started my Masters of Education.
All of these experiences have re-shaped the way I understand teaching and learning and have completely changed who I am as an educator. It is for this reason that I have chosen to go back in the classroom and try my hand at being a PYP teacher again.
In short – I want a do-over!
This upcoming school year there are many new things I want to try, old things I want to try to let go of and a few things from my previous life as a teacher that I will likely continue. Here is what I’m envisioning:
- student blogs
- paper-less (or at least a less-paper) classroom
- class Twitter and Instagram
- 20% time
- student set-up classroom and student created class schedule
- digital portfolios
- YouTube videos for parents
- culturally responsive teaching
- daily reflection time
- student authored reports
- back channeling in the classroom
- Making Learning Visible
- stand-alone math and literacy inquiries
- Mystery Skypes
- using a PYP day planning template
- using a blank PYP unit planner
- split screen teaching
- “doing school”
- using the word “work”
- teacher created exemplars
- bump it up walls
- rewards and punishments
- spelling lists and spelling tests
- trying to “cover” the curriculum
- having a teacher desk
- laminating things
- reading logs
- one -size-fits-all summatives
- building authentic relationships with students
- individualized student success plans
- playing with students at recess
- community circles/classroom meetings
- class blog
- Daily 5
- Visible Thinking Routines
- Kath Murdoch’s Inquiry Cycle
- individual learning conferences
- co-constructing rubrics with students
- modelling conflict resolution
- have students write report cards for me
- trying to remain pedagogically neutral
- writing notes to students
- making sure I’m never too busy to improve
- student ownership of learning
I know this seems like a lofty set of goals and I know there will be bumps, stumbles and reality-checks along the way, but that is all part of why I wanted to go back into the classroom in the first place! I’m committed to being the type of risk-taker I hope my students become.
I also know that before I’m ready to try any of this, I need to first be an inquirer and dive deeper into understanding the why and how behind the whats on this dream-list.
So, on that note… let my summer professional learning begin!
Wish me luck!