I believe it is my responsibility as an educator to create an environment in which students can learn to their fullest learning potential. In order to create an environment in which all students can succeed, it is important to understand that the early years are the most crucial years in a child’s formation. It is the time when children are learning and developing as individuals who will then mature into young adults. I believe all children want to learn and it is the methods we use that makes the learning experience interesting, intriguing, and knowledge based. Hence, it is essential we plan a curriculum based around the children’s interests to ensure attentiveness and co-operation, as this can result in greater opportunities to reach their fullest potential. In doing this, I can offer my students the opportunity to succeed in attaining the knowledge they will need to step out into the “real world”.
As part of ensuring such learning in our classrooms, we must understand the changes in our world. For example, in our world today, technology has become an essential tool in our lives. Not only are we using them more and more each day, but we also need them more and more. For children, computers are becoming a very strong influence in their learning and use of new skills. Assignments that require the use of computer programs or the internet (whether it be for research, lyrics to a song for an assignment, definitions, quotes, poems, ideas to help brainstorm, pictures, etc.) are becoming more and more common within the classroom. Reason being is that teachers are beginning to realize and understand the importance of computers and the role it plays in the lives of our students. Furthermore, we are keeping in mind the idea of differentiated learning – each of our students learns differently. Having said that, it is important that we integrate and include different styles of teaching and learning so to encourage and ensure that our students are learning to the fullest of their learning potential.
How would you feel if your school was given fifty new computers?
Feeling strongly about computers and the importance it has taken in the lives of the young minds in our classrooms, I would be extremely happy if my elementary school was given fifty new computers – I feel that having new computers would be essential in our students learning, as it would give them various opportunities to work on and complete some of the assigned work, and it would also allow students to learn new things or strengthen their abilities. While some of our students are masters when it comes to computers, given the advantage that they may have access to computers at home, others may only have the privilege of having access to a computer at school, giving more reason as to why they are so important. It also allows us, as educators, to encourage new skills as they may need them in their near future.
What if your principal asked you to be the lead programming teacher for the grade 7 and 8’s?
If my principal asked me to be the lead teacher programming for the grade 7 and 8 class, I would gladly accept. Being that my feelings towards the use of computers and the importance in which it holds are strong, I feel I would make a great candidate.
What would your steps include?
As the lead teacher, these would be the steps I would take in creating a productive and engaging program:
– First, I would schedule arranged times (with the classroom teachers) for the grades 7 and 8 classes, so that they have adequate time to use the computers each week.
– Next, I would sit down with the classroom teachers and discuss the students’ expectations, levels of learning and interests, as well as, what they are working on in class so to cover these expectations, so that I could better understand ways in which I could integrate that during computers.
– I would also look to the Ontario curriculum documents to further my understanding of the grades expectations.
– I would then turn to the students to get a better understanding of their interests and the ways in which I can incorporate them when creating lessons.
With all of this information, I can now begin creating lessons that further link what students are learning in class, the expectations in which they must meet, as well as, their interests, with the skills in which I believe they need to and should learn while using a computer in order to reach and accomplish each of these factors.
What about the teaching and learning process itself?
– First, I would begin with teaching basic introductory lessons such as how to locate/use specific tools/icons, etc. on the computers.
– From there, I would teach lessons with regards to how to use specific programs in which they would be using in order to complete class assignments such as Microsoft word, PowerPoint, internet explorer, etc. (Teaching this would be beneficial as some students are not aware of how to use such programs, and such programs are essential when trying to complete assigned work such as finding research, creating presentations, typing assignments, etc., as well as, meeting the expectations).
With the knowledge and understanding of these new skills, students will be better able and better equipped to begin using the programs in order to complete assigned work. I would work to the best of my teaching abilities to ensure that the time in which both the grade 7 and 8 classes have for computers will be:
A. A time in which they will learn new skills such as how to use a computer, more specifically, the programs that we must use to complete assignments and
B. A time where they can work on and complete assigned work that requires the use of a computer (again, some students do not have the privilege of using a computer or have the access to a computer at home).
C. A time where students can put their new knowledge and skills to work!
Timing is everything…
With time, once the students have gained an understanding of how to use a computer and have grasped the idea of how to put their new skills to work, I would begin to incorporate programs/skills in which the students are interested in learning about (going back to the discussion I had with the students before beginning the programming). I would definitely try to incorporate their interests throughout each of the lessons as well, so to ensure that students are learning to the fullest of their potential. I would allow students to explore popular or favorite programs, making sure that they understand the rules and limits.
I believe that in taking into consideration some of the ideas as mentioned above, I, as a lead teacher, would be able to create a program that is interesting and student based, further supporting my philosophy of education!