We have talked about the “reculturing” of our beliefs about the purposes and appearances of the ideal classroom many times throughout this program, and this is something that I continue to think about and incorporate into my own thinking. I do not remember which class at the moment, probably many of them, where we had a conversation about our views of what a classroom looks like. Unfortunately, many of us stated the “obvious”: Some type of writing board in the front of the classroom, small desks aligned in rows that all face the board, and a computer on the teacher’s private (much larger) desk. This image alone illustrates how the “traditional classroom” has not changed along with the new technologies that are now open to us.
While teaching upstate, I did not have the luxury of having a smartboard, let alone enough copies of A House on Mango Street, but I did attempt to make my classroom unique. Every couple weeks, I would move the desks into a different formation: facing front, large circle, grouped, etc. I also asked for an ELMO to use in my classroom. At Cortland, I was taught to step outside the traditional classroom ways, but I know that it is difficult with the lack of resources available to some as well as the comfort that we all have with the traditional classroom approach. This is something that widely concerns me and that I will continue to work on.
In my opinion, this do-it-yourself attitude is a blessing and a curse! I am a very cautious person. I want to do everything right, and that means I want a clear set of tasks to complete. Self-discovery is very scary for me. I am extremely nervous to try new things; that is why I had to push myself to pursue this degree. Our students today want to look up things on their own phones. They grew up in a time where everything is at their fingertips. I believe that we have to remember this as teachers. We must learn to encourage self-discovery without emphasis on always getting the “right” answer. We all must learn from our own mistakes.
I am having a lot of trouble trying to link or even see the Kindle sharing page, so I am sorry for this small screen shot instead. I have been trying to figure it out for the past hour and a half.
I chose this quotation because it scarily depicts the truth that is occurring in many school districts today. Adolescents in this age are growing up with technology. They are becoming the experts! They are thriving in this environment, while we are all still trying to catch up. Current teachers, many of them are older with this crazy job market we are living in, often fear technology. They simply do not have the skills and are not comfortable learning them. This is very scary for me. I hope that we can somehow combat this issue head on. I don’t know if the professional developments that teachers are receiving now are ever going to cut it.