Trying New Things In Your ClassroomSo I challenge you this week, try something new. Click To Tweet
Full transcript below video.
Hey guys! It’s Rae, and I wanted to share a really cool story that happened to me. I was interacting with a teacher that reached out for standards based grading support. It was something she was looking into, she was new in the career but still wanted to try this brand new stuff, and she was eager to see what she was doing wrong because she was getting negative reactions from her colleagues in trying this new thing.
So we sat on a video call, and she communicated all of the things that she was doing already in her classroom, while I loved her philosophy, there were some gaps that I worked with her on in what areas maybe don’t quite make sense, and also echoing the fact that some of her colleagues that were giving her feedback, negative feedback while she was trying, maybe there was a way to meet them in the middle, and so what I really got out of it was that she needed to continue growing.
So she looked at me at the end of the conversation and she goes, “Oh, so do I make these changes tomorrow, or do I wait until next year?”, and that was a really interesting comment for her to make, because while she has been trying all these incredible techniques to better her classroom, there was a very reflective moment where making some of the changes that we had talked about was probably going to be challenging, it was going to mean that she was going to walk into her classroom on Monday morning and admit that something didn’t go as well as she wanted. It meant that she was going to go to her colleagues, or her administration, and say, “Hey, I did some reflection, and I’m going to change these components.”
And to be honest, especially with how our conversation went, this was going to be tough. She was really going to have to admit that she needed to grow, and I feel like that is the perfect beginning to us talking about how you try new things in your classroom. Because, trying new things in your classroom, means that you might fail, or maybe you might do it halfway great, and halfway not so great, or it could mean that it’s earth shattering and it changes the way that you lead your classroom.[scroll down to keep reading]
So I want you to think about that for a moment. How can we ensure that when we’re trying something that it is successful enough to not hurt students. And I can tell you, just trying it shows something, but being able to then bite your tongue at the end and admit when something may have gone wrong is challenging but so important. Because we ask our students to do that all the time. Now in my classroom, I ask my students to take challenges constantly, and the concept of them failing just means it’s their first attempt in learning.
Now that’s a phrase coined by Chad, Chad is outstanding, and he always used to tell me, as we continue to work together that failing, FAIL is really just acronym for First Attempt In Learning, and while we encourage our students to do that, we have to encourage each other to do that as well. You are not hurting students, and if you’re really nervous about hurting students, you should reach out and we will talk about it first. But really though most of your ideas are not hurting students, it’s really just taking the challenge, and being able to reflect and grow after it.
So I challenge you this week, try something new. Try a concept that you’ve heard about that you haven’t necessarily implemented yet. For me, I just heard about an app, I’ve been hearing about this app for about 10 months, and to be honest, with my life I was like, “Ugh, I just can’t take that on right now”, but I have to, because these are valuable resources that will help our classrooms and help our students. Help give our students better learning opportunities.
So take something on this week, not drastically, but take something small on this week, try something new and then have a reflective moment, maybe on your own, but even better, with your students, because our challenges our failures really show our students that those are things that we want them to continue to do. Expect them to continue to do and really show them the impact of what taking something new on, trying it, maybe failing, reflecting and growing.
It’s amazing what an impact it can have, good luck with trying something new and I hope you share whatever it ends up being that you’re eager to try, because I might want to try it too.