"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Friday, 16 November 2012

Learning Environments

I can't believe I have left my beloved blog to sit for so long. It is not that I haven't wanted to it is just that the last few weeks took over and before I know it a month has past. There has been many a poet to write about the passing of time.. Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey has some classic lines..  And passing even into my purer mind, With tranquil restoration: -- feelings too ... That time is past, And all its aching joys are now no more, ...

Creative+independenceOh to have the skill to write like this. Such an amazing poet. Anyway apart from illness I have been a coach in overload to my students. They are running to the end as they only have two weeks left and all their final assessments need to be handed in. Having marked a lot of them lately I have been so excited for many of them who have received an excellent result. There has been many a sleepless night trying to think of the best ways to teach and motivate them to succeed. I feel emotionally and physically exhausted and ready for a holiday but so very fulfilled at this incredible year I have had. 

Last Monday we had a staff development day. We all participated in the Myer Briggs Type Indicator Test. This test aims to understand your personality type and how you can use your preferences to enhance your work environment. It was so interesting. There are things that we think, do and say that come naturally to us and then there are things we need to work on.

Some of you may have guessed by now that I am a big fat extrovert! What was really interesting was all the extroverts got together to ask questions of the introverts and vice versa. The questions the introverts asked to the extroverts in the room was fascinating. It was like a penny dropped in my brain and I understand people who are introverted more clearly than ever before. I must learn to shut up sometimes to let the introverts think and not demand an answer straight away. I must seek their opinion and make sure they have been heard even if they don't offer. Just because they appear quiet doesn't mean they don't have a lot to offer. In our classroom we consider Gardiner's personality types but I have come to realise that there is much more to it than that. I have come to realise that some students will pace themsleves and work systematically whilst other will research and think and have a work explosion just before the deadline. For many this is a preference. It is hard to change a preference but it can be done. 

I really enjoy this type of learning as it forces me to think outside the box. I love to constantly challenge myself and I drive myself to learn however sometimes I realise this takes a toll on me. More than ever I need time to ponder. Time to reflect and file things away in my brain. One of the things that came out of the staff development day was that I work in a very dynamic team. It was a wonderful day and so rich in sharing and encouragement. That random day I walked into TAFE looking for a job was in hindsight one the best things I have ever done. I am feeling very grateful for being amongst such wonderful colleagues who support me as a teacher with all my failings and successes. This environment has caused me to flourish. Not just as a teacher but as a learner who is supported and encouraged on a regular basis. Modeling is a key factor in all this. Kindness, compassion, patience and consistency are all helpful attributes to create a good learning environment. I do hope I can strive to show these qualities to my students.

This TED talk got me really excited this week. Amazing where creativity and technology can 

I have not had time to net surf however here are a few ones I have stumbled across lately:

The Musuem of Me (looks awesome)

Scribble Maps

Think Link
Create rich images with music, video, sound, text and more.
Share and discover deeper stories through images

Qwiller - Online creative writing resources

Until next week (hopefully),

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