A number of the points in 8 Strategies to Prevent Teaching Burnout resonated. Worth revisiting for strategies and self-review of practice.
I was reading What I Am Learning About My Students During an Impossible Semester by Jim Lang after searching for a value related assignment to restart my classes as we go back to work online while @home during the COVID19 #StayHomeSaveLives event. It was worth reading before I get going today, frames how I want to approach restarting, at least to try.
What I intend to attempt is to ask this question, framed for this time:
“What are you good at in school?” I asked. “What do you care about in terms of your academic work? Do you love to participate in class? Are you a good leader on group projects? This is an English class, but maybe your strength is with statistics or math. If so, tell me about it. If I know about what you’re good at, maybe we can find a way for you to use it in this course.”https://chroniclevitae.com/news/2328-what-i-am-learning-about-my-students-during-an-impossible-semester?cid=VTEVPMSED1
Could be reframed for a full start as:
What are you good at in school? What do you care about in terms of your academic work? Do you love to participate in class? Are you a good leader on group projects? This is an Computer Science class, but maybe your strength is with English or Choir. If so, tell me about it. If I know about what you’re good at, maybe we can find a way for you to use it in this course.
But for a Q4 restart as:
OPTIONAL: What have you found you are good at during the #StayHomeSaveLives event? What do you care about in terms of your academic work and future? What values do you think are important for people to show during this situation?
I keep thinking about this article https://www.middleweb.com/41193/inviting-mr-rogers-into-your-sel-classroom/ and the need to bring Mr Rogers back. I think it is more important as anxiety increases and the climate of the world continues to become more aggressive and toxic.
It may well be the missing component that has been forcibly removed on the PD death march that schools are engaged in which prioritizes everything that can help an administrator without actually leaving any time to be just a teacher.
Almost time to start the detailed planning for the 2019-2020 school year and among the things I relearned this summer at CS4Teachers at the UW was design charrettes. This was a lesson worked on with students who do the K12 outreach for HCDE (Human Centered Design & Engineering) program at the U of W and essentially ran like this article https://www.hcde.washington.edu/news/charettes-k-12-outreach. A quick glance around the UW campus found other places like the CBE (College of Built Environments) http://archpac.be.uw.edu/new-student-charrette/ using them as well.
I will start working on the details the week before school starts as I intend to use this as a new student introduction activity in my IB (International Baccalaureate) CS classes. It isn’t because they require that level of expertise, simply that they really lend themselves to organizing and teaching the process and time for designing and implementing a project which is a key for the year for that program.
It would be really cool to put it into play in the regular course, perhaps in outlining a Mobile game interface, mostly because the Marvel App (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.marvelapp) made ALL the difference along with the practice.
Reflection: I learned Design Charrettes a few years ago and yet they didn’t jump out at me as they did now that I wish to have a quick way to provide a fundamental design experience to an entire class without lecturing.