Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cleaning it up...

What do these two images have in common and how can you apply it to your teaching?

Obviously the shape and direction of the swirl are the same, both suggesting movement in another direction. Both in a positive direction, resulting in something fresher, something cleaner. Now take time to reflect upon your teaching year. What went really well? Where did you seem to struggle this year as an educator? What are some ways that you would like to be a better teacher?

For me, my teaching contains some solid approaches/strategies that work with any group of learners, but as I spend more time leading in EdTech and the 1:1 movement in our school, I continue to seek more information about the ways it affects the Spanish classroom and the way that students can learn language and culture. My goal became to spend more time networking with others outside of the classroom to find EdTech approaches that are working for others in their classrooms and work towards implementing them in mine as well.

My favorite place to network is Twitter. The Twittersphere is a wonderful place with other teachers eager to learn and improve just like you! And with my smart phone, I am always connected wherever I am and thus, my growth as an educator is not restricted by a certain space anymore! How can Twitter "clean up" your teaching? Think of an area of interest or a new approach that you want to learn more about. Investigate to see if a Twitter Chat occurs during the week, and visit it! For some basics about educational Twitter Chats, there is a great article from Susan Bearden (@s_bearden) titled "13 Great Twitter Chats Every Educator Should Check Out" found here.  Thank you Susan for the great start!

Finding a Twitter Chat and attending the online chats takes a little of your free time in the summer, but the benefits of listening to others, meeting wonderful supportive colleagues and learning from experts in the field are SO worth it! A big shout out to the amazing people out there in my favorite Twitter Chat area of #langchat -where World Language teachers meet Thursdays for 1 hour at 7 p.m. CST- a new topic each week!

So this summer, take your tired looking clothes (which are the approaches, strategies and teaching models that did not work so well this school year) and freshen them up in a figurative laundry wash cycle (I suggest the gentle cycle!) so they are ready to go for the fall. My preferred laundry soap to get everything clean?- a generous amount of Twitter.

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