This is becoming such a prominent phrase in my life. I love to try new things but it is so much easier when someone else has tried them first so I at least have some idea of what to expect. I am embarking on a few new adventures here and I am nervous but hopeful.
First of all there is the flexible seating classroom. I don’t really know a lot of teachers, particularly high school science teachers, that have tried this. I am super excited about it and I truly think that it will increase engagement and that it works very well with my style of teaching. However, every time I show people the room or show people pictures their faces says a lot! The most common reaction is “I can’t wait to see how this works out.” I have pretty much heard that from every single person that I have shown the room to. I know most, if not all, of them are in my corner and rooting for me, but I also am feeling an ever increasing pressure to succeed because their faces say “You are crazy this will never work”. I might also mention that I tend read into things way more than I need to so who knows. But as the year draws closer I am getting more nervous. I still think it will be great but I don’t know what I don’t know and I DO know that there will be issues that arise that I never even imagined. I just need to be brave and work through it.
The other big adventure is my teachers pay teachers store. I completely failed at Etsy and I think a big part of that was I don’t know what I don’t know and my style just not being very popular. So here I am again trying to put my stuff out there. I know it is good stuff because I have seen it work. However, I don’t know what I don’t know. This time I have some good teachers and people that are willing to give very concrete and constructive criticism. Will it work in the end? Who knows. Will I ever sell one thing? God I hope so, but who knows.
Also there is this blog. I want to get more people to interact with me and read it but I can’t seem to do that. I probably really need to figure out pinterest. But hopefully eventually with enough out there people will start responding.
The moral of the story is that even though I don’t know what I don’t know I’m going to try anyway! Wish me luck!!
So far I have had a pretty standard science class. In terms of physical space and structure of my classes. Just this past year I got rid of the lecture portion of my class. Kind of a semi-flipped classroom. Basically most days spent on direct instruction through guided worksheets or lab activities. Sometimes I would throw in a 7-10 minute video clip to spice it up. Kind of boring.
Going 1:1 has helped me a lot. We went 1:1 two years ago and I have really become an expert at our LMS platform so that I can work harder not smarter and also engage students more. I think I am definitely moving in the right direction but I’m not there yet.
Right now everything I do is digital. So no physical papers for the most part. Learning the mechanics of this and of teaching the students to work this way efficiently took time. I feel very comfortable with it now and when I start feeling comfortable is when I know it is time to add something new.
Here is what I want for next year: more choice (maybe all choice??), more inquiry, more non-fiction reading, student portfolios/blogs, more exposure to diversity, and flexible seating (probably not until the following school year)
The inquiry and choice are my main focus. As a result of this and the fact that teacher pay sucks I started a TPT store to sell the things that I create. It isn’t going well so far LOL but I have to learn how to promote better. If you are curious check it out here.
Something my team and I have noticed is that students are not prepared for the critical thinking and analysis that is needed for science work. In the state where I teach (Indiana) Biology is a stated tested subject. Our school has been teaching Biology to freshman and our scores are not great and we are having a lot of trouble improving the scores. So my team decided to propose to our administration that we switch the sequence of the science course and teach ICP (integrated chemistry and physics) to all freshman and Biology to all sophomores. This would give us a whole year to teach the necessary science skills. We are implementing this in August and I am pretty much spear heading the whole thing.
Wish me luck and watch how my journey progresses in future blog posts! Thanks for reading 🙂