The other day a colleague, looking at my QR codes for my student video/vocab links said “I’m so glad that I’m retiring in 3 years so I don’t have to do any tech etc. in class!”. I was dumbfounded. It’s my 18th year of teaching and my prepping and updating has never kept me busier. My classroom is not a place of comfort for me ….it’s uncomfortable and that’s good. Why do I love my uncomfortable classroom?
My students are learning to ‘do for themselves’ - When students direct their learning – materials and resources need to come from a variety of sources. I am using Quizlet, Snagit, YouTube, QRcodes, my own Quicktime audio files etc. These take time to set up. It’s not comfortable for me – as each unit brings up new requirements but once done – they are there.
My students are not just learning in class - I am amazed to see how and when they access material. Review videos at 2am, vocabulary on their phone ..these are just two tech changes that require me to be up to date. Flipping my classroom is not a permanent venture for me – but I am using the idea at least once or twice per unit – this requires time for me to prep items for them to use.
Teaching has changed - My language MFL classroom is focused more and more on communicative interactive activities. Therefore, I no longer ‘stand and deliver’ content and what I used to do just doesn’t cut it any more. This means more hours revising to make sure that activities fit into this new style.
Risk is not comfortable. I am risking by trying new things and revamping old items. Doing this in front of, and with, my students in the classroom is not comfortable. But choosing to eschew ‘comfort’ in my classroom I am seeing growth and learning like I never have before. My students are more involved and responsible learners…and their language use is soaring.
Comfort? No thanks!