Today was the third day of assigned math professional development (PD) for grades K-3.
I am a professional development junkie, I search for anything literacy and digital, I just LOVE to learn. I more I find the more I want!
But, after three sessions of assigned PD in math, I have found a struggle, a cognitive dissonance between my ache to learn and my topic de jour. The leaders of PD, my table teams, and the community are all more than I could ask for, they are fantastic!
As I sat struggling today, I learned a few things about myself as a learner:
- Learning is fun when I choose what I learn.
- Learning encourages learning when I am interested in the topic.
- I need a drink (coffee, water, or tea) gum, chapstick, an iPad, post-it-notes, and a stylus.
- Talking off task encourages more talking and makes attending frustrating.
- Getting and STAYING focused is hard when you're not "feeling" the content.
- Even when you know learning matters, connects and feeds new thinking, your mind wanders.
- When I get bored or hear a direction I perceive I am not going to like, I suddenly need to go to the bathroom, check my phone, or otherwise disengage.
- Friends can be a good thing for learning and a distraction.
- Sometimes things outside of the classroom come into the classroom.
- I am THAT student in your class!
I am taking all this into my classroom tomorrow. I will remember how hard it is to be a student and ask myself, am I allowing my students to meet their needs as learners? Are they struggling to be here today? Can I do anything to help them? Is what I am teaching purposeful for them? The last questions is an important one to me. Because if I am asking them to endure and learn something they don't engage with it better be relevant to learning! No one wants to struggle through my agenda without valid reasons.
Fortunately, for me, I know the learning and this PD is directly changing the classroom for my students and what could be a more compelling reason?