Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Don't Talk to Strangers - You Might Learn Something

Don’t Talk to Strangers – You Might Learn Something

My teaching experience, up to now, has all been in middle school. Starting next week though, I’ll be teaching in the Primary grades for the first time. I spent some time this summer on Pinterest, Twitter and various blogs & websites trying to prepare myself for my new role. The last time I was in a grade 2 classroom was 13 years ago as a parent volunteer, before I became a teacher myself. That was a long time ago, and I don’t just want to survive this year, I want it to be incredible. I’ve learned so much from so many people and I’m grateful.

One person in particular went above and beyond when it came to sharing insights, resources and strategies. I met Jonathan So on Twitter @mrsoclassroom and saw some great lessons and on his blog mrsoclassroom.blogspot.ca and after answering a lot of my questions, he invited me to visit his class. Luckily, his school follows a balanced-year calendar so my vacation time coincided with his class being in school. I jumped at the chance, and this morning I got to see a glimpse of what grade 2 is all about.

I witnessed some powerful teaching and learning in Mr. So’s classroom. Seeing the relationships and routines that have been established, watching an excellent math lesson and hearing the students clearly explain their thinking, having the chance to watch students work in collaborative groups and listen to their rich math conversations as they solved a problem related to the lesson, asking Jonathan questions and talking to the students was an incredible opportunity. I learned a lot from Jonathan, and I learned a lot from his students. I now have a better understanding of the different pace in a primary classroom and of the way that students this age think and interact.

I left Mr. So’s classroom with a bounce in my step and a renewed sense of #PLNpower

Talking to strangers has taught me a lot about teaching and learning. There are many generous people online and in our schools – talk to them, ask them questions, visit their classrooms, invite them into yours and they won’t be strangers anymore.

@mrsoclassroom used this great hashtag today, use it to Tweet about your experiences with  #openingtheclassroomdoors




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