This was really an interesting class for me. Much of what we worked on are things I have thought about trying in my own classes or have already tried to some degree. It was fun for me to do some of these things and really figure out how I can use them in my class, instead of just experimenting a little on my own. I would say that the topic that will stick with me the most was the Genius Hour. It is something that I thought very little about before, but now that I have learned more about it and have tried it out, it is definitely something I’m going to pursue in my classroom. I think it is such a great way to get students learning in a different way, and it gives me an opportunity to redesign how I do things in my classroom. I really can’t say enough about the benefits of using Genius Hour in the classroom, and without enrolling in this program I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought.
Throughout this entire learning experience, the one thing that I appreciated the most was being able to connect with and learn from my peers. It was truly an invaluable tool being able to discuss topics and get ideas from other teachers just like me. Many of them were in similar situations as I am, but they still have new and different experiences as well. I felt that everyone was able to bring something new and different to the discussions, and all of them were able to teach me and help me at some point along the way. I will be using many of the new ideas and techniques that I’ve learned from them, and I’m really grateful to have made these meaningful connections in this class.
I think that I have grown quite a bit as a teacher throughout this experience. I have tried and done things in this class that I don’t think I would have attempted otherwise. I’ve already mentioned Genius Hour. That was quite the experience for me, and I’m glad I have a better understanding of it because it is something I can see the benefits of doing for my students. If I hadn’t learned about it in this class, I’m not sure it would have been something I tried with my students. Now I can see the benefits of implementing things like this in my class, and I have much more confidence in trying it now than I did when we first started discussing it.
I will continue to use much of what I’ve learned in this class as I move forward in the program. I want to develop more and better assessment activities for my students to help capture their attention and get them interested in learning. Overall, I’m very pleased with my experience in this class. I have learned a great deal about many different topics that I will take with me as I progress through the program here at St. Francis. I hope to build on the foundation I have received in this class, and look forward to incorporating many of the new ideas and strategies in my own classroom.