The other day I was walking through the College West building on campus and I took a picture of the floor:
Now, why, you may ask, did I take a picture of the floor? I guess it’s because the floor reminds me of when I first started at the U of R almost twenty-one years ago. So much has changed on campus since then, multiple buildings and residences have been built and the student population seems to have exploded. However, some things, like the floor, have not changed and serve to remind me of my journey as a student. When I started as an education student twenty years ago I could not have anticipated the changes that would take place in education and teaching throughout my career. I envisioned teaching the same way that I had been taught and in my head even pictured teaching at my high school. Thankfully, that is not exactly what happened and my journey as a teacher has been an interesting and sometimes bumpy one to get to the job I love today as a learning resource teacher.
I feel like I am starting with a lower baseline of knowledge than so many of the other students in my EC & I 831 class which is the class that this blog is for. Some of that stems from my age compared to the majority of my peers. We did not have computers in classrooms when I went to school unless it was chosen as an elective in high school (I was way too scared of computers to choose it as an elective!) That’s not to say that people my age and older cannot be technology experts, many are!
An incident that I remember clearly is writing journals in grade 7. I wrote a completely fictional story about a girl whose dad passed away from a heart attack. My audience was the teacher- one person. The only bad part of my story was that the teacher did not realize that the story was fiction and was shocked when my actual dad who was alive and well walked in for parent teacher interviews.
“..studies have found that the effort of communicating to someone else forces you to pay more attention and learn more” is a quote from Clive Thompson’s Why Even the Worst Bloggers are Making Us Smarter article. As a student I loved to write, I am quite introverted, but I have always loved to write since I have time to clarify thoughts that I might be too shy to express otherwise. Imagine if I had been able to write to an audience as a grade seven student? I think that I would have loved the opportunity and been able to run with the freedom.
Going back to the floor at College West: even though the physical buildings that we teach in may not have changed, the way that we teach must be evolved from what was happening 5, 10, or 15 years ago or even last year. We need to develop digital citizens who have skills that are much different than the ones that we graduated with. It’s an exciting time to have the privilege of being a teacher!