We live in a constantly evolving world; therefore our education system needs to evolve. Our world is continually becoming more specialized; therefore we need to prepare our students for the current and future diversified job market. Our students need to be active learners, allowing them to keep up with this constantly evolving world.
One of the most apparent ways our world is changing is the presence of globalization and the digital world in the classroom. Our students demographic is shifting, becoming more culturally diverse. Students’ access to technology allows them to communicate with others all over the globe. The characteristics and benefits of these changes needs to be reflected in our education system.
This year I have focused on integrating the 3 E’s of Inspiring Education in to my practice – Engaged Thinkers, Ethical Citizens and Entrepreneurial Spirit. Here are a few examples of how:
· This year our principal initiated option classes for our Grade 4 – 6 students. I offered a leadership class in which the students chose to organize a Cultural Fair. This Fair was planned, organized and executed by the students with my guidance.
· I organized local and global service projects for my students to participate in such as the Adopt-a-School project. Glenda Bonifacio from the University of Lethbridge started this community project to send school supplies to devastated schools in Tacloban, Philippines.
· I have implemented Genius Hour/ Passion Projects with the help of amazing colleagues (Meghan Calder, Crystal Lothian and Annie Greeno). Genius Hour allows students to choose an area of personal interest and create a product of their choosing. This allows students to engage in student-led learning while using many of the cross-curricular competencies. My students are engaged in their projects, inspired by their own unique interests and while extending their learning. I have students creating step-by-step guides who struggle with organization and flow in their writing. I have reluctant learners cruising websites and You Tube videos for information on Outer Space. I have students who struggle to be advocates for themselves as learners beginning to excel and glow with confidence at the products they have created. As for curriculum, my students are meeting many English Language Arts outcomes in an authentic way. To name a few, students are reflective writing, using research skills and presenting orally – all outcomes arising out of differentiated instruction.
My ability to step out of my comfort zone as a teacher and take risks are because of the leadership from my school board and administrative team. My Professional Learning Network made up of many amazing educators within Lethbridge School Divisions and on my Twitter network has been a priceless resource for strengthening my skills as an educator.