New School Year, New Passion

source: http://flic.kr/p/6Uo1Am

So the first three days of the school year have come and gone.  The joke, negative as it tends to be, is, there are now only 177 more school days left in the year.  Its really sad to actually start counting down to the end of the year, starting the first day.  What makes a teacher wish for the last day… on the first day of the school year? Has the passion died for them?

Coming back is always hard for me because I tend to go into full lazy mode and pulling out of that is hard; but I am particularly excited about this school year.  My passion for learning and teaching has me slightly overwhelmed but I am ready to move, eagerly, towards the future.  I am beginning the second half of my masters program coursework, and the first class in this set gets into the meat of being an instructional designer and blending classroom instruction with online instruction.

The very first discussion asked about my first experience with blended learning and I recalled the student I had one year who was sick, very sick.  He eventually missed nearly 50% of the school year, but, because his teachers, including me, worked hard with his grandmother to keep him in the loop, he passed all his classes.

We created a blending curriculum for him. We didn’t KNOW we were doing that, we just did it.  I set up a personal website for him and when he was absent, he received his lessons from that site.  One of our students found an instant messaging widget that we added, and if he was in the hospital again, he’d join us if he was able, in class, through the IM.  The kids fought to be his ‘voice’ during classes.  They wanted him to be as successful as possible.  He was.

That’s the year my passion for Educational Technology began.  I have, for the past 8 years been experimenting with ways to move the learning experience outside the four walls of the classroom and connecting with teachers who, like me, recognize that the tools to provide learning experiences for students are changing. My source: flicker  Patrick Crispen - Bloggingpassion for making this happen has lead to my continued professional schooling and in turn, my learning is being shared with my students.

This school year, I will find amazing ways to apply technology based instruction to my students.  I will show them how to use their devices to explore the world in ways they never thought possible. We will find our personal passions and grow and plan for our futures, together.

If you have not read the article “Teaching Disruptively” as found at the upper right of this blog, please do so.  Consider your passion, and how you can “break apart” the way children learn so THEY can rebuilt and recreate their learning experience to help them find their passion in life, as we have found ours.

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How excited are you about the new school year?  What will be your passion, your light as you travel through the curriculum this year?