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

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Why not think outside the box?

I don't know about you but in recent years I have completed some personality tests. I have blogged about this before. It's a very interesting topic because it makes you think about why you are the way you are and what is it that drives you to work and function in life. As the years go on I am becoming more comfortable in my own skin. That's a strange statement for a 37 year old. You'd think by now that I had grown up. Well I feel like I still am. I have always been an out of the box thinker. My mind is veraciously coming up with new ideas for teaching and education. My poor boss can barely keep up with my ideas. He says I have ADHTD, Attention Deficit Hyper Teaching Disorder. I'm always on the go and constantly thinking and sensing how we can do things better to engage students in their learning.

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There have times this year when I have felt very down about the changes that are happening in the education sector however if I allow these to take over then my teaching will be greatly affected. So when I feel that my teaching is tired and mediocre I turn to the file on my hard drive called, 'Kathryn's big ideas'. It's these teaching and learning ideas that I have come up with or gleaned from others that allow me to think outside the box. Sometimes these ideas are to do with technology and other times they are more to do with the connections that people have to their space or community. In doing so I have notice that if I incorporate some of my crazy ideas in class the students are more engaged in their learning and they often comment more on how passionate I am about what I do. It is these unique ideas and ways of teaching that shows we aren't robots. I have noticed that when I am enthusiastic, passionate and creative in how I teach it is the students in turn that learn and experience new concepts and ideas in real and meaningful ways and I find I have my best teaching days. A shared journey is far more exciting and meaningful then one where you are going at it alone. 

If you are reading this blog then you are clearly a dedicated teacher or interested person who wishes to engage in a world outside your own thinking. I'm clearly not talking to you. However if you know someone that doesn't engage in regular (I mean at least every few weeks or at the very least once a month) professional development or conversation about what they are actually doing in their classroom then how can they ever remain fresh, vibrant and relevant to the cohort that they are teaching? I often need others to inspire me or to help me get an idea going and there is no way that I could do my job on my own. My teaching practices reflect a community of educators who support and share with me and allow me to make mistakes and give me feedback on how I can do things better. Our head teacher regularly pops in to watch our classes. He is happy to discuss what is going on in our classes over lunch or just pop into his office for a chat. 

So can I encourage you if you are an out of the box thinker to never stop dreaming and thinking of new and
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innovative ways to learn. If you aren't an out of the box thinker then please be there to keep us grounded in reality with a hint of compassion that our bubble might be burst but necessary because our ideas are a little too way out there for that particular moment in time.

I think I've 90% secured a place for the next Central Coast Teach Meet so watch this space because by next week I will announce the venue. (It's a fantastic venue too!) Friday night 8th August is the date so keep it free. More info to come next week. 

Have a great week,

p.s. Check out #ozengchat on Twitter from last night for a most interesting discussion on cognitive enhancement drugs with Dr Nicole Vincent. 

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