Friday, 27 April 2012

Somewhat confused, a little worried and…terribly excited!

There are no adjectives that can clearly describe my state of mind. 2012 has been a wonderful year up to now but, at the same time, it’s been a real challenge. Learning new things is always hard but if what you are learning is how to teach in a different way, it may turn maddening at times. Why? Well, I’ve been trying many different things lately. First of all, I’ve been using more and more technology in class. Finding out what works and what doesn’t implies hours of preparation and research. I’m also learning about “Building Learning Power” and how my lessons can make students exercise new habits of the mind. I’m eager to adopt this approach, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to try things, fail, succeed and undoubtedly feel exhausted every now and then. Hopefully my students and I will learn a few things. Finally, to make matters worse (or better, if you look on the bright side of life) now I am about to become an ICT teacher trainer!

Let me explain this in detail. Last year I signed up for “Laboratorio Pedagógico”, a course on ICT that the ministry of education offered to secondary school teachers. What was its main objective? To help educators create online material to use in class. A well-prepared teacher trainer came to school once a week and 6 of my colleagues and I started learning how to use different tools little by little. As a result of the 12-week course, we created a bunch of google sites. After the school year finished I created a couple more so that I didn’t forget my new skills. I knew in 2012 one of us would have to continue working with the rest of the staff, but it was unclear who that person would be. Last Tuesday, while I was working with my 9th graders, the head teacher informed me I had been chosen to deliver the course. Wow! I was surprised, excited and SCARED. Anyway, I immediately accepted the job. “What a great opportunity!”, I thought. "Even if I have to stop working with 1 or 2 of my groups ( I can take paid leave), teaching technology for the first time will be a fantastic challenge!"

When I arrived home 2 hours later I was not so sure I had done the right thing. Was I the best person for the job? Full of doubts, I decided to turn on my computer and ask a couple of friends. It was then that I found two wonderful talks. In fact, two of the people I met during the "Teaching Excellence and Achivement Program" last year had their TEDx talks uploaded to youtube (yes, two people I know have taken part in such a wonderful project!!) and the videos were exactly what I needed.

The first one talks about how to face problems. Dr.Deidre Combs, a wonderful mediator and book author, says we should celebrate struggles. Sounds hard, doesn’t it? Well, after listening to her, you start realizing conflict is necessary to push you forward.

The second one is by Paul Andersen, a science teacher I met at Bozeman High. After been nominated for “Teacher of the Year” (and not winning, unfortunately), he decided to use the elements of game design to improve learning in his AP Biology classroom. In the video he explains how.

If you happen to have 25 spare minutes, do not hesitate and watch both talks. They are inspiring and enlightening in ways I can’t even explain. ENJOY!!!


  1. Loved it, Anita! Thank you!!!

    1. Thank YOU for visiting my blog,Juli!!I'm so glad you liked it!