Thanks to HSE High School English teacher Jacquie Carson for today’s post, and for her willingness over the last several years to take risks and embrace change.Dana Garvey’s character in Wayne’s World, Garth, makes the observation that he and Wayne “fear change.” That is one of the reasons so many of our faculty are a little worried about change that is coming down the pike. This idea of 1:1 instruction and UbDs and flipped classrooms seems daunting, especially when it all seems to be coming at the same time, like one big progressive avalanche.
I, too, tend to fear a lot of change. I have a hard time buying a new car or even picking a paint color for my master bathroom. It did take me a bit of a change in mindset to get into this whole 1:1 thing, this new vision. My fear was one of the reasons I joined my building’s HSE21 Team, to force myself to be more open, a move that was a good motivator for me. Being an HSE21 Trainer in my building has helped me to continually push myself to embrace these changes, especially by trying to incorporate new ideas into my teaching.
I now love flipping my classroom once in awhile. For example, this year my English 10H students took notes on sonnets while listening to my lecture posted on Blackboard (a lecture that usually took me a day-and-a-half to cover in class and made the kids miserable). With the class time I’ve gained back, I’ve now planned an activity in which my students will take a pilgrimage throughout the school as a culmination to our reading of The Canterbury Tales. Flipping my lecture made this fun authentic assessment possible.
Like Garth, I still find change disruptive and a bit scary; however, I am trying to fear it less. I’ve learned that I don’t have to change everything I do, and I don’t have to change all at once. But by being willing to modify a lesson here or there, we can manage to embrace change and see what good it can do for us and for our students.