Sunday, November 7, 2010

Embracing Change

Guest Blogger: Cheryl Lloyd is a primary teacher from SD71. Meet her for five minutes and you are struck by her passion for teaching and learning. Where is she now? On Arabian Adventures. Find out about her experiences on exchange in Saudia Arabia at her blog:

Educating children is no easy task! The whirlwind of current practices changes at a rate similar to our advancing technology. Students and adults alike are on a nonstop continuum of learning and sometimes as educators, admitting our ignorance is a difficult task. Can we remember back to when we first started teaching in our classrooms? It was not only acceptable, but expected we would ask others for assistance and help as we graciously or ungraciously strung together lessons and units of study. What’s changed? Are we supposed to know everything now with all our years of experience? This is an absurd notion, especially when research continues to reveal new and exciting phenomenon about how we learn.

Presently, one ongoing question revolves around assessment. Should we, shouldn’t we, how often, what assessment tool, what’s the purpose, what do we do with the results, and, do I want to share the results to name a few. Of course we should assess children and use the data to assist and support student learning. Assessments can also be a tool to guide unit planning and even school and district goals.

Over the past four years, I have had the opportunity to once again embrace meaningful professional learning. Becoming vulnerable, asking questions, trying on little bits, teaching others, and learning from others has enhanced my capabilities and confidence. Finding a team of other educators who are expanding their knowledge has been an invaluable tool and wealth of information for me. Assessment practices have been a part of our learning and I now embrace formative assessment, peer assessment practices and summative assessment. I match various assessments for specific purposes.

I desire ongoing professional development and am forever grateful to my colleagues for stretching my thinking, encouraging me to try new practices, and believing in me. I think the process of participation verses the perfect product assists me to embrace the shifting practices in our ever-changing vocation!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Cheryl,
    You haver left a HUGE hole in district #71 and in the various organizations where you were involved! I still find myself thinking, "Oh I should speak to Cheryl about that," only to remember that you are thousands of miles away! I frequently find it difficult to admit that I need help; in Aboriginal Education I felt that everyone but me is "in the know" especially when it comes to protochol; it has taken a lot to admit that I don't know what to do.When I do ask, I have always been pleasently surprised how generously help has been offered. I think of you over in SA and all of the learning that is going on with you, your new students and staff! I hope that you find a group of supportive teachers to work with you; it makes such a difference. Finally, as the Chinese say, "May we live in interesting times."Love Toresa