Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Communicating and Connecting in the 21st Century Classroom

          With the start of a new semester, it is only natural for teachers and students alike to be reeling from the onslaught of new information, new schedules and new faces. This semester I am gifted with a diverse range of classes, including Advanced Placement English Literature, English 12, Leadership Coop English 11 and English 8. Add to that a  lively group of Discovery 8 students and a Global Issues Club that welcomes all grade levels.
           Somewhat to my amazement, however, I have discovered that this range of courses has not depleted my energy. It has, in fact, revitalized and further inspired me to expand and extend my teaching practice to meet the varied needs and interests of my students. I must admit though, that I feel a tad chameleon-like. As each new group of students crosses the boundary from hall to classroom, I find myself shifting and adjusting my approach and my persona ever so slightly to mirror the energy and interests of my students. This constant state of flux is what I love about the profession of teaching. After 15 years of teaching, I am still learning, still growing, and yes, still making some mistakes. I am fortunate to work amongst an amazingly dedicated and supportive community of teachers and administrators who have encouraged me to continue to integrate new technologies and techniques into my English classroom.
             The creation of my website, and my entry into the twitter-verse several years ago, allows me to extend my teaching beyond the walls of my classroom, and as such I am often communicating with my students, and with their parents outside of school hours. Just yesterday, I received a politely worded inquiry from one of my English 8 students, which allowed me to clarify instructions for an activity that she was working on at home. I have successfully collected email contacts from 100% of my students and many also follow me on twitter. These additional methods of communicating with my students have served to further strengthen and enhance the daily interactions that we have in the classroom. And so, just a few weeks into 2nd semester, I am feeling more energized and more connected than ever. Better still, I have early indications that on most days, my students are feeling
much the same!

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