My first attempt at quad blogging… Angela , Nigel, and Kelcy… I’m doing this now even though it’s out of order….We are having some very bad weather here, being snowbound is the perfect opportunity to begin blog #1
I live in Oxford,,. a small town in Western Maine… gently rolling hills and home to one mountain that skiers frequent. I was born on the coast of Maine and although my husband prefers the mountains, I miss the ocean.
I decided I wanted to be a teacher in the sixth grade. I was a good student but shy, so my astute teacher asked me to read to a first grade class while their teacher had her lunch. I was hooked. I attended our state University. Luckily, I got a teaching job right after I graduated. I taught second grade for 7 years. and first grade for eight years. I got pregnant later in life and decided I wanted to stay at home and raise this child and fore go day care.. We moved to the wilds of Northern Maine and bought a farm. There, I learned very practical things like how to grow vegetables and can them up, raise chickens, bake bread, raise and milk the goats, ride a horse and mend fences. I also learned how to stoke 3 wood stoves in that drafty old farmhouse. After nine years of trying to live off the land, I said goodbye to long, cold, often times 60 degrees below zero winters. It was, though, a great experience.One year, I home schooled my daughter. She was so ready for 6th grade the following year, that she was bored to death! If only her 6th grade teacher had inspired her and given her the extra push to take responsibility for some of her own learning. I loved the rural life and connecting with the university extension group which taught me everything I know about canning garden produce. I look back on those years with some fond memories….would I go back and live that lifestyle again. Not a chance.
However,getting back into the work force was not easy. I am now an Ed Tech, fancy name for teacher assistant, in a Primary school. I’ve been there for 10 years, teaching in the Resource Room. Children with learning disabilities come to my room for extra support in reading and math. I love it! I don’t have the hassle of disgruntled parents or the headache of dealing with out of touch administrators. Teaching has changed since I began in 1972 .In some ways for the better, in other ways not so much. When I taught school, we did lots of hands on learning. We cooked, sewed, planted flowers, got involved in the community, We had fun. Some of that is still done in a few classrooms at my school, but not enough. Today, I see little ones stressed, competition is fierce even at the age of 9, It seems like every time I turn around, pupils are being assessed. In my humble opinion, too much time is spent on tests and assessments and not enough time cultivating a true love of learning.
And this very fact led me to take this MOOC. The instruction that I give is remedial. Many of the lessons need to be very systematic and structured.
Here is the type of instruction that I do every day .
Students are making real progress,but I want them to be excited to come to my room. I took this EDCMOOC hoping to learn some tech tools to bring into my classroom. I want to add a little fun while learning necessary skills.. School can still be fun.
I came across this quote by Roger Schank from Willrichardson.com .Schank said, and I agree.
“But learning happens when someone wants to learn, not when someone wants to teach.”
I think that more of my students will want to learn if they can use some web 2.0 tools to enhance their learning.
I’ve certainly had fun so far with my DIY Web 2.0 tools course that Laurie St. Cyr Niestrath recommended.
I’ll certainly have fun when our E-learning and Digital Cultures Course begins. I’ll have fun because I want to learn and I find learning new things exciting.
Until then, I’ll continue to roam the Internet in search of fun things.