Our district has been implementing numerous technology initiatives this year, and it has not been a smooth transition. Many "special opportunities" have created huge learning curves for my colleagues as well as myself. Today, I sat in a meeting, trying to learn how to create interims on a database I have yet to understand. I listened to the instructor. I tried to follow her, but was getting lost as she continued to finish her talk in the time allotted. I began to feel completely overwhelmed. Everyone was talking at once and on different steps in the process. I was confused, unfocused, and on the verge of tears. So, I followed the defense mechanism that works for my learning needs. I left, went to my room, and closed my door. I sat at my desk with the step sheet and computer, and worked my way through the process. I am savy enough on the computer, but the past technology learning environments have not met my needs. I can't learn in a large group with everyone talking and asking questions. I don't need complete silence, but when there's too many conversations and questions going on around me, I can't focus. I need to process and reflect on my own, then ask questions as they come.
So, I realized how my treasures feel when I am moving too fast for them. There are some learners who are auditory. Some are visual. While I am a very visual learner, my daughter is auditory. I'm understanding how they learn. When frustration levels are high for my treasures, I'm going to remember this moment:
1. Give them time to regroup. Take a walk around the halls.
2. Stop tasks and come back another day.
3. Those learners may do better one-on-one or in small groups.
4. Write visual steps as well as auditory for all learners.
5. Students must "do" to understand.
Today, I walked in my treasures' shoes and that has made all the difference.