"At the Teacher's Desk" is a collaborative blog that emphasizes professional learning and the sharing of ideas among educators.
They Had To Fail To Prepare For Success
In this post Mr. William Chamberlain discusses how he had assigned a group project to his class and had let them work on it one there own for several days. At the end of this time period, when they were supposed to present, none of them were ready to present. They had been pretending to complete the task instead of actually working on it.
Mr. Chamberlain takes the teaching approach of the students asking each other for help when they need it. That approach didn't work in this case because none of the groups really knew what they were doing. This wasn't due to lack of ability or inadequate instruction. It more so had to do with the fact that the students didn't pay attention and thought they could figure it out themselves. After this incident, Mr. Chamberlain simply redirected his students back to their work and watched as they finally worked together. His only question now was if they would remember the lesson or repeat the same mistake in the future.
When I first read the title of this post I was very intrigued. Failing to prepare for success is an interesting concept but I understand the thought behind it. The students had to realize their mistakes in their learning techniques in order to fully grasp how to succeed. I feel it's important to recognize this about students and about ourselves. Not everything is going to work perfectly all the time. We need to realize what makes it fail on occasion, be able to correct the flaw, and appreciate what it taught us.
Why Blogging Isn't Transformative To Our Students Yet
This post references a post by Dr. Christ McGee in his blog Coaching in and out of the Classroom about the importance of blogging. The gist is that blogging in the classroom isn't as effective as it could be because many educators don't grasp the concept fully. The main problem is that confuse a "large audience" with an "authentic audience". An authentic audience is one that wants to read the material being written. Most teachers don't develop this with students because that would require them to give up control of what their students read, what they comment, and if they participate at all. The connects they make could lead to a better world for future generations, but teachers must be careful not to repress these through a lack of understanding.
I completely agree with Dr. McGee! However, I know that I may have a hard time practicing this. Giving up assignment control in a classroom goes against a lot of my basic thoughts of teaching. That being said, I think that if I can implement it correctly, it will benefit my future students in ways untold and that will be worth it for me.