Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Through The Eyes of My Learners

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.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Shelly,
    That's pretty great insight, you know. So many teachers don't connect their own learning frustrations and triggers to their students. You are right, the way we feel in certain learning situations is how many of our students feel in learning situations we create in our classrooms. Impressive post. Great blog too.

    Teacher Food