Where to begin?
When I graduated Deakin University with my Diploma of Education in 2005, the last thing on my mind was further study. It didn’t register a blip in the ensuing years that passed where I happily picked up CRT positions and both long and short term contracts.
It wasn’t until my latest position which started in 2009 that I began mulling over the prospect of going back to school. The changes that have taken place in this school helped shape me as an educator.
Technology changes: We went from two computer labs to ‘computers on wheels’ then to a 1-1 MacBook program. Projectors were built into every classroom.
Pedagogical changes: saw us adopting an understanding by design approach to topic planning. Elements of Daniel Pink’s ‘Drive’, Dr. Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindsets, Hattie’s Effect Size have been implemented.
Structural changes: the school built the Oak Centre (New Allied Health Training Centre, gym, humanities and music facility).
As a result of the changes that were going on around me, coupled with a dynamic forward thinking environment, I couldn’t help but be motivated to continue my learning in a more formal setting.
So here we go!
For me, the course content has ignited a passion and motivation to get into it. (I’m about to start module 2! How about that?!) Already, it’s stretched my brain muscles and had me consider things like the importance of digital repositories, learning analytics and open content.
Within Douglas Thomas’ call to develop “A New Culture for Learning” he notes that classrooms and students are changing in a way that we haven’t been able to keep up with. Without educational leaders actively engaged in research, debate and dialogue we’ll be set in a 20th Century educational model. Last year, I was fortunate enough to take part in the Google Teachers Academy, Sydney. This largely focused on shifts in educational thinking and how to bring about change. My aim in taking this course is to build on those ideas and challenge commonly held assumptions in education; to learn and to understand; to hone my craft and to make others around me better educators.
After reading several of the blog posts already it seems as though I’m not alone with my concerns of the delicate balance of full time work, being a husband, a parent and successfully completing this course. This is something that I definitely struggle with, but I’m determined to not let it beat me.
A Final Thought
I always saw my previous degrees as a means to an end… I’d get qualified and then I’d teach.
And now look at where I am. At the threshold of this course: vast, open and exciting. I choose not to be intimidated by it. I choose to be invigorated.
A New Culture of Learning, Douglas Thomas at TEDxUFM. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM80GXlyX0U
The power of believing that you can improve. (n.d.). Retrieved March 09, 2015, from http://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve?language=en
The puzzle of motivation. (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation?language=en