One cannot survive as a dinosaur at my school. If you want to do things the old way – the way that was good enough for me, my mother and my grandmother – forget it – you will soon become extinct. We are teaching 21st Century children with 21st Century mindsets and so if we want to get through to them we have to move with the times – and rapidly! I have mentioned before on my blog that our motto for the year is Make a Digital Difference. And I’ve mentioned before that I just can’t wait – but I am in Grade 1 and all the new digital stuff is happening in the higher grades – I am desperate for an interactive board or at least a HD Television. And I’m specially impatient now after attending the weekend staff development programme.
On Thursday afternoon I was inspired by a visiting American teacher to teach children to ‘infer’ in their reading. Of course I have done this for years but she gave a new emphasis to this skill and ways in which to teach them to children. Even in my grade this will be something I will pay more attention to when teaching my children to read.
Then on Friday, at the last minute due to our planned speaker taking ill, we had a dynamic young man, an I.T. nerd, who will be bringing all the new technology to our school, come an give us a stirring workshop on how to implement digital learning in the classroom. We all have our phobias regarding crashing into this newness but I found out that I am an “Ambitious Alice” I, along with all my colleagues in Grade 1, can’t wait to get digitally going. Our speaker looked concerned – “You’re going to be exhausted by the end of the year,” he said. But aren’t I always? Isn’t that the nature of the teaching profession? Go go go all year and then collapse in a heap at the end and enjoy a well earned long summer holiday!
After inspiring us with stories of children both in privileged environments as well as street children who only had access to a computer in a hole in the wall learning through playing with digital equipment available to them, our speaker exhorted us to prepare a lesson using the internet and any digital device at our disposal. And what fun we all had and what diverse things we came up with. I am going to like this new style of teaching – But when oh when am I going to get my interactive board!