Friday, June 11, 2010

Question of the Day: What Did You Learn This Year?

Today is our last day of final exams at school and today is the last in our series of 'Questions of the Day' here on TeachPaperless. I really appreciate the comments and ideas everyone has shared over the past few days on issues ranging from summer projects, to administrative term limits, to final exams, to revolution.

So let's end this series with a question that every teacher should have a stake in answering:

What did you learn this year?

That's it. A simple question with complex implications. I look forward to hearing about what you learned and I look forward to a summer full of opportunities to connect and extend our learning in ways we now can hardly imagine.


  1. I always knew that there was a huge world of teachers, and that there were amazing teachers that I could learn from. I always knew that Twitter was a means of communicating, but I just figured it was a way for people to keep track of the meaningless comings-and-goings of celebrities.

    What I learned this year is that these two things can come together in a huge way. Through Twitter, I've made connections worldwide to amazing and passionate educators. I've learned that sharing is key, and that giving to the community is just as important as taking. I've learned that replying to blogs is just as important as writing blog posts, as it takes two (or more) to have a conversation.

    I've learned that I'm a better teacher for being a part of this larger community, and I can't wait to grow & improve in my practice based on the connections and collaborations I've made and will hopefully continue to foster.

  2. I learned that multiple choice exams are a terrible way to learn what a student knows. MC questions tend to ask about trivial bits of information, for starters. And if a kid misses a question, it tells you next to nothing about their thought processes and where the problems lie. I'm still in the process of figuring out what to replace these lame assessments with, but I know that it needs to be done.

  3. I've learned a bunch:

    1. Twitter is a great tool for educators.
    2. My Personal Learning Network has taught me too many things to list.
    3. Students will continue to surprise me (in great ways)
    4. Politicians and some administrators will never "get it"
    5. That I saved a ton of money in my classroom (and working to do it in rest of building/district) by using open source /free resources and cutting down on paper use.
    6. That I need to take a breath before dealing with classroom management issues when I'm already tired or cranky.
    7. That my students are awesome (already knew that - but it's nice to see it every year!)
    8. That I still love being an educator

  4. @Chris I recently learnt that MC questions are designed such that students can answer in A,B,C,D order and keep repeating that and they will pass.

    I will try and dig up the article..

  5. I love what everyone put here all ready, Dave especially summed it up!

    To me this year has been a tech boom. I started the year making 'power point audio books' with struggling learners (and being thought of by other teachers as quite 'out there' in my thinking) and ended it with 3 teaching blogs, MP3 players, prezi and animoto! Not to mention finally connecting with other tech teachers on Twitter!(That just happened in May...)

    Amazing growth but what I think I like the most about tech is how it can reach some students that other learning modes can't...I work with these students as a SERT (Spec Ed Resource Teacher) and Tech just has this power to engage...

    It's been a real journey and I look forward to more creative tech connections next year...

    And I want to thank all the teachers on Twitter. It really is such a positive place.

    Julie Johnson

  6. It's only the middle of the year for us in Australia, but one thing I have learnt this year is that Twitter is an incredible resource for sharing links, getting help and learning from generous educators all over the world!!

  7. I too thought that Twitter was another forum to sell yourself. What I did find though out is that I have been able to connect and share information about teaching. It has been the best PD I have EVER done and it keeps evolving. I rant and rave about it at school and I am slowly getting people to talk about using it; which is a start. I am still so new to all this and my goal is to get at least 10 people talking and looking inside Pandora's box by the end of the year. I will be back in December to let you know what happened!

  8. I've learnt so much this year as a part of the Educator's PLN and also by using Twitter. I regularly take part in the Tuesday #edchat (12 noon EST) and find it great PD.
    I have picked up so much from links that I get on a regular basis to some fascinating new ideas and programs.
    I have started my own blog to share my learning and have found the comments that I get really interesting and helpful.
    It has been an exciting learning journey so far and it continues...

  9. I've learned about the feasibility of the paperless classroom; the power of the PLN, the pioneering spirit of students, the power of blogging for self-reflection and integrating learning, the challenges of pushing for change and most importantly, the creativity of the fluid/digital classroom. I've read this blog throughout the year and introduced it to my students and colleagues. Thank you for your work and inspiration.

  10. hmmm...
    * benchmarks, initiatives & mandates do NOT guarantee learning / growth
    * there are pioneer teachers (like me) out there
    * & they r on twitter !!
    * 5 yrs of PBL guarantees engagement & demonstrates learning while providing choice
    * I WANT 2 share what I know & do & now have a WAY
    * pd is impt BUT u need 2 b in the classroom for students to grow
    * balance is good
    * I may b OCD about my J-O-B but my students benefit (after all they will b my future de lawyer governor)
    * I may know some things BUT I learn more & more everyday from my students

  11. I learned...

    *that technology makes differentiation, inquiry and student choice easier.
    *that more differentiation makes for less discipline issues.
    *that more inquiry makes for increased student motivation.
    *how to implement project-based learning more completely in my classes.
    *that I can learn a lot from my PLN.
    *a ton about educational technology and the potential for paperlessness.
    *that students are much more willing to revise electronic work based on feedback than they are paper work.

  12. after 20 years in the classroom - this year i've learned with great excitement - that there really is something new (as opposed to just improved) this time around the ed reform.

    while vamping up content, or hyping up engagement.... is great... the web is allowing
    a brand new opportunity - to connect per passion.

    people have written about it here.. most still don't quite get it.

    i've experienced the profound impact a purposefully selected expert individual tutor has had on my own learning. and it's like i can't sleep till each of my students and fellow teachers can experience the same.

    relationship and community is becoming the curriculum.. and there's nothing else like it. it's a guaranteed high when it happens.

    i've learned there are pockets of this all over.. but we're not yet leveling this access.

    i've learned i have a new mission.

  13. I've learned

    - my students have a weird fascination with me when they realize i know more about technology than they do.
    - there will always be a learner, a questioner, and a teacher, and I can play those different just as my students can play those different roles
    -access to technology does not mean knowledge to technology
    -there is so much left for me to learn!


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