As the flowers are popping out of the ground, and the faint feeling of warm weather is on the horizon, my students are reminding me (both with words and actions) that the school year is coming to a close. This time of year also indicates the end of my Cohort 21 experience. We have our final face to face meeting this Saturday and at this time I will be sharing where I started and how I am finishing my year and my plans.
I have made a Prezi to help summarize my start, path and final goals looking forward. It can be found by clicking here:
I know for me, the Cohort 21 process allowed me to get a kick start and audience for a blog which I have been wanting to start for a few years since using other people's sites as my key PD when I started teaching. I used other peoples sites as a place to confirm what I felt was a valuable way to teach, engage students and challenge them. Having taught in very isolated places, I needed the outside community to support me in my ideas and help challenge me to improve.
Looking forward, I want to now be apart of the conversation rather than just a listener. This is my biggest take away from the program. I know that I will implement technology in my class, have my students use various resources and share ideas, but I will only improve how I use the new technologies and starteiges by sharing my plans and asking others for feedback.
Richard Bryne from Free Technology for Teachers I feel put it best when he said:
Good teachers have always consulted with other teachers. Twitter didn't invent professional learning networks, personal learning networks, or professional learning groups.
I want to be a good teacher, and I know that to do so I need to consult with other teachers. The only difference between consulting with teachers in your school and using the internet is the number of people that you can talk to and the feedback that you can get back. I don't want to wait for a staff meeting to get feedback on my lesson plan for next week, but I need that feedback as soon as possible.
That is how I plan on moving forward. Continue the connections I have made within the Cohort 21 community and outside to be my sounding board and give critique (my students will always be my hardest and honest critic). So thank you to the Cohort 21 community for helping me get started on a longer journey.