Thursday, February 12, 2015

Visiting Classes

This started out as a comment on Aviva's blog, Living Avivaloca, and then grew a bit... wondering how we can somehow spread the value of this type of visit?
"First of all, the most important thing I want to say is, "Thank you, Aviva!" Having followed you and learned from you on Twitter for several years, and then had the fun of meeting you in person at ECOO, I think the chance to visit your room today was a truly unique experience.
We make a lot of "virtual" connections in this day and age, and I know I take these for granted, and feel as though I really know the person and of course I am learning all the time from them online. But to visit in person and see that educator in their element is truly a special bonus.
In observing the environment in its totality, not just as cool photos, I got insight into the Reggio inspired approach. Seeing some past provocations and talking to your engaging, friendly students about them was super. The mix of resources, from "found" materials to purpose-bought and strategically used items, added a lot to my knowledge of the primary classroom. Well, I could go on...:)
It is funny that from our brief conversation you would have zeroed in on "time" as a theme, because I knew right away yesterday that is what I would write about. It was inspiring to see your lesson discussion, the pacing, humour, equity, and focus of this time in the class. Regardless of the age of the students, this was an invaluable model. And the seamless integration of your tech in this part of the class was fantastic, whether for giving the children background or preparing for assessment as part of learning.
And I can't go without passing along my sincere thanks to all of your colleagues who made yesterday such a memorable learning experience for us eLCs."
I am so lucky to work for a board that is so strategically supportive of teachers integrating technology not their practice. But these two days of visiting three schools and a total of six classrooms has really got me thinking.
Also looking back to our first intro to iPads at Land of Lakes, the day that Judy M and I got to visit Carine C's classroom in Callander was a pivotal experience.
I think that finding a way to have demonstration classrooms and inter-school visits even within our own boards might be the most valuable gift we could give educators.
we would learn everything from:
* Types of devices used and why
* Distribution of resources
* App ideas
* Tech integration in student learning
* Tech for planning
* Tech for assessment
* Differentiation opportunities
* Troubleshooting and backup planning
* Diminishing fears about classroom management, via program planning
Most importantly we could observe the students and see the tremendous capacity they have for adapting and using whatever is available for their learning.
This would be an inspiring field trip for any teacher, I think.

1 comment:

Delight RogersDelightR said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences with Anne. I look forward to hearing more about them upon your return. I agree that even a short visit to a demonstration classroom can be so much more meaningful than our standard PD opportunities. It can bring the ideas that we see and hear about on our PLN's to life. Delight