Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tomorrow is Today


When I was listening to Dr. Pamela Moran's TED Talk (find it here: Dr. Pamela Moran's TED Talk) I started thinking about my life and my teaching in the framework of "Tomorrow is Today."

I had never heard of Dr. Pamela Moran before (maybe I should have...), but she definitely made me think about my teaching and how I do it. These are some of my thoughts as I listened to her:

"No standard solutions to standard problems"
Maybe I am a linear thinker, but I am (almost) always expecting a standard solution or at least a solution that I know about--and have encountered before--to  a problem that I face at school. Dr. Moran's speech challenges me to think more creatively: Is the problem that my student has really a standard problem? If it is not, then the solution cannot be a standard either. In other words, I am being forced to come out of my box to look at both the problem and the solution in a new way. And I am not just talking about my students, but also my teaching, curriculum and its delivery methods.

"Create problem solvers NOT problem makers"
Once again, I am faced with a new challenge: look at my students in a new light. I am basically telling myself not to put my students into a box, where they are forced to make noise, and act out in order to get out of there. Instead, I need to put on my thinking cap and figure out how my lessons can create problem solvers. I believe this is especially important for my mentees (more about this next week). This all takes time. Where do I get it from?

"Today's students are tomorrow's designers"
Dr. Moran talked about the 1960s and the race to the moon. Could I create that kind of designers in my class today? Do I want to? ABSOLUTELY!! But how do I make it happen? How do I need to change my classroom and my teaching to be aware that there are future designers in my class, and I need to foster that creativity in them. I have some ideas....maybe you get to read about them as I work on changing some thing in my classroom.

"Make each day a reflection of tomorrow"
I think this is really hard. Think about the day that everything went wrong in your classroom, and in addition, the phone never stopped ringing. How do you redeem that day and make it a reflection of tomorrow? Wait a minute, maybe I look at the day as an opportunity to create problem solvers to non-standard problems. Maybe I give students an opportunity to design a plan from their perspective that would change the "disaster day" into a redeemed day. But first, I have to jump over my own learning curve and give students the chance to be the designers and creators.

"How do we make "maker spaces"? Spaces where kids actually create not just consume."
This is hard!!!!!!!!! We live in consumer society where satisfaction is almost instant, and if it isn't, people complain. How do I create a classroom (even the furniture placement) that encourages these maker spaces where students can be creative? Do I need to do all the changing or should I also involve my students in the choice making? After all, my classroom has to function for everyone K-12 graders. What about supplies? Can I do this with really no budget?

I have ideas, but at this point I also have more questions. What about you? Do you have ideas that have worked in your classroom? Please share your ideas, and let's CREATE creative learners for tomorrow together today!

1 comment:

  1. TED talks have been an inspiration for me several times. Thank you for sharing a link to this one. i can see that it left you with many thoughts. I am curious to read later how it changed your classroom practice.


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