Today’s Contributor: Marion Jones
I am entering my third year of teaching at McCallum High School where I teach Physics and Forensic Science. This is also my second year as the McCallum CIC! When I am not teaching you will find me outside with my fiancee and our dog walking, hiking, or just hanging out in the back yard.
New school year, new students, new schedules, new teachers, new challenges, and new goals. So much happens during the first month of school, but the biggest “new” for me so far is BLEND. It has presented itself as a unique tool which offers endless possibilities for how I can incorporate more technology in my classroom.
Last year, I reinvented my classroom as I took my first real step towards a truly innovative classroom. This year is my phase 2 and I find myself feeling the same way I did one year ago: nervous. There have been a few bumps along the way, some lessons did not go exactly the way I had hoped, but some also went better than expected. I am not going to let a few issues deter me from my goals. I am finding that the positives are far outweighing any negatives that I have encountered. Moving past the issues and continuing to try new types of lessons has been made even easier thanks in large part to my students. I always make sure to be up-front with them and this year that included letting them know that I am not a BLEND expert and that we were going to learn together. There has been some frustration among the students; however, as I remind them that I am learning too and their feedback will help me improve their experience, the frustration has, for the most part, dissipated.
Although my students have been wonderful in working with me, a second challenge I have faced is really getting my students, their parents, and even a few teachers, to buy into the BLEND system. My goal is to get everyone as invested in BLEND as I am. This first and most important thing I remind everyone of is BLEND was created by Canvas. I feel great knowing that I now have another way in which I can help prepare my students for college because almost all universities use online tools and Canvas is one of the most popular.
This is an exciting new year and I want to take every new opportunity to learn what I can. I hope that everyone reading this can take a step back from any challenges they are currently facing and look beyond it to their goals. Your students will be one of your greatest resources if you give them the opportunity. I truly believe that if they know you are in this with them they will do whatever they can to help you.
**This post is dedicated to my amazing McCallum students, especially those that chose to take my elective class and allow me to teach them for a second year. They stuck with me through my classroom reinvention and are already helping me to be successful in my phase 2.**