I’ve been reading a fascinating book recently called Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts by Will RIchardson, a California secondary educator. More than any other source of inspiration, this book, with all its inherent resources – site listings, wiki listings, etc. has really got me thinking about my teaching. Never satisfied, I look for new ways to involve the students. Not really to “get them involved,’ but ways to set up my teaching space so they become – want to become – involved. Not since the days of hands-on math investigations, outdoor thematic learning, ESS, Math Their Way, etc. have I been so interested in transforming my teaching. Thank you, Will. More on this later, I’m sure.
I think of this mainly with my 8am first year students. They are great people, every one of them. As my relationships with individuals begin to dip a bit below the surface, I appreciate them more and more and I feel privileged to be their teacher. They show up, at 8am, two days a week, waiting to learn. Waiting for me to teach them. And damn, I fall in to the trap every semester. They are waiting for me! I am working way more than they are. That’s not the way it should be. It’s transmission. And I want transformation. I want THEM to see the way things could be and to learn how to get their own kids actively connected and involved with their own questions. I can provide the parameters, but they have to do the digging, the exposing, the thinking, the reflecting. Why do I have to rediscover this again and again. It’s only when i get so uncomfortable with the level of my own spoonfeeding, enticing, salesmanship, that I finally hit the way and realize that what I see of them as learners through my window is but a mirror of my own making.
For the moment, I wanted to show you a really funny satire that i found as a result of surfing the NYC Collaborative Writing wiki. The site is a student writing about a new terrorist group called al-gebra.