Skip to main content

You Don't Know Unless You Try

The first week of the 2015-2016 school year is done, but I couldn't tell you where those days went. All I know is that Friday afternoon is here and my oldest daughter is getting ready to be flower girl tomorrow at my cousin's wedding.
While the first week went by at a speed similar to the last week of summer vacation, there was so much additional time and energy put in to it by so many people. The reason, starting a blended classroom in my sixth grade math and science classes. This is something that has been in the works since the beginning of the fourth marking period of last year, and something that I have been, unknowingly, building up to since I was hired 14 years ago. So while blended learning will be occurring in my classroom, it is definitely not a me-only project. We all will celebrate the successes the blended learning classroom gives us throughout the year.
What has been so fantastic about beginning a blended learning classroom has been all of the excitement and willingness to help from so many educators, especially my superintendent, principal, director of technology, and director of curriculum. Without them, I would not have been given to the opportunity to grow professionally and become a better teacher for my students. From the start, the have been fully supportive and encouraging. They saw the benefits of a blended learning classroom and found ways to make it happen.

I look forward to experiencing and sharing the challenges, successes, and connections this year will bring. Great things really can happen when you try, but you really won't know unless you try.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Not Just Any Summer Assignment: A VR Summer Learning Experience

This summer, I intend to go to Disney World and other parts of Florida, the Outer Banks, Ocean City, New York City, a Kansas City Royals baseball game, the Grand Canyon, the White House, a NHL Finals game, a cruise, and I plan to go to all of those places without leaving my house. How? With the Cardboard Camera app, Google Cardboard, and Google Classroom. I have given my sixth grade students one last assignment, and this assignment will run all summer long. Their assignment is to bring along their classmates on their summer vacation trips using the Cardboard Camera app, by uploading their images to Google Classroom for their classmates and myself to view on our Google Cardboards (we had a Google Cardboard make and take night in early May, so the students are really into VR now), and finally collaborating on a Google Slide (Take Us With You On Vacation). Benefits to this assignment: 1. Let's start with the obvious. It is really cool. Who doesn't want to try out VR? The students ab…

My First Few Weeks as Elementary Principal

On January 23rd, my 15-year career as a classroom teacher changed dramatically, as I began a new role as interim principal in one of my district's elementary schools. Then on January 24th, my wife and I celebrated our third child being born. It was a week full of emotions but most of all excitement.  Being a father of two, I knew what to expect with our third child. Late night feedings, sleepless nights, changing diapers (lots of diapers), and a return to the 5S's. But being a first-time principal, it was a lot like being a first-time parent. You could read all the books and get all the advice, but until you actually went through it, you couldn't really understand it.  Much like bringing my first child home from the hospital after she was born, I had some, well a lot, of anxiety going into my first day as principal. I had scheduled a full faculty meeting to introduce myself, and while I was only an interim principal in another principal's building, I still had to be myse…

Enter The Twilight Zone with Blended Learning

You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension - a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone. 
I feel that opening part of the show The Twilight Zone directly relates to my school year this year. This is my second full year of running a blended learning classroom, and I feel as if in some way my sixth-grade students and I have crossed over into the Twilight Zone. Strange but wonderful things are happening in and out of my classroom, that I have not, unfortunately, witnessed before in my 15 years of teaching. Students are embracing the idea that learning can take place anywhere, anytime and that their voice matters to others, as they enter a whole other dimension in Google Classroom. They are seeing learning opportunities on their own outside of the school day and wanting to share their experiences wit…