October 18, 2011
A couple things from the reading really stood out to me. the quote “experience in not what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens to you.” i’ve always thought like this, but when you put it in the context of teaching it has a whole new meaning. it’s our jobs to learn to create experiences for others and create environments to help others reach their full potential. the way we can better do this is through _learning_ from experience, not just experiencing it.
An interesting thought was brought up in a recent discussion: How do you know if your students are really listening to what you are trying to teach? I gave the first answer that came to my mind: test them. But others in the discussion brought up interesting possibilities. Some of these suggestions included incentives, assigned roles in a role-playing scenario, make it a contest, word bingo. Throw in tricks was my favorite. You (usually) announce to the class that, now that you have explained everything, you will then work through a problem on the board, but that you will purposefully do something wrong, and it is the students’ job to figure out the error. Brilliant.
Today we had a quiz about the Moral Dimensions of learning. I want to reflect on (number 1 and number 4) a little bit.
1. Enculturating the young in a social and political democracy
Foster in the nation’s young the skills, dispositions, and knowledge necessary for effective participation in a social and political democracy
I think that this could possibly be my favorite moral dimension. I love it because it encourages people to be contributing members of society. Not only is it important for us to make sure that we are informed about laws and different things happening in our community but it is our responsibility to be law abiding citizens. It reminds me of something we talked about in Relief Society the other day. It was about the commandment to multiply and replenish the Earth. The commandment isn’t just to multiply, but it is to multiply AND REPLENISH the Earth. We talked about how it is our responsibility to make sure that we are bringing children into this world who are of substance, who are of value. People who can contribute to society. I heard Sister Beck say once that she wanted to make sure that she was raising children who could talk, she wanted to be able to have children who she enjoyed talking to and having conversations with.
4. Ensuring responsible stewardship of schools
Ensure educators’ competence in and commitment to serving as stewards of schools
This is also an important thing to remember. My husband had a professor here at BYU who said that we need to make sure that we are getting the most out of our BYU experience because part of our tuition is paid by tithing from members of our church. He said make this experience worth while for that widow in Chili who has 6 kids who is scrimping and barely making it, but who is 100% faithful in paying her tithing. Learn all you can! If not for you, for her!
I think we can learn a lot by learning from each other. I know that no one is particularly fond of teaching in front of the class to their peers, but it also helps us once critique comes around. It’s hard to get critiqued especially by classmates, but they are trying to learn as well so it’s really just helping everyone out…Even though some people feel like it may not be “realistic” I think it’s definitely helping. Yes, our peers are trying to help us out by participating, but we need to start somewhere don’t we? We are learning what works and what doesn’t. What activities students respond too and what to do in certain situations. This is what it’s all about! Once we get this down we can move on to more “realistic” approaches and continue on from there. There is a starting point for everything and our starting point is teaching our peers. I think it’s helpful to be carefully critiqued by those who want you to become better.
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