Here is a picture of me at a rock climbing gym. In this instance I am using an auto-belay device which allows me to climb without having someone physically belay and ensure my safety. The reason I chose to include this picture was that it kind of reminds me of how I felt this quarter.
It was a bit challenging trying to find my way up the route. I had to use my strength and technique to figure out how to complete it, but it wasn’t insurmountable. However, every time I reach the top of the wall using an auto-belay device I always have to convince myself to jump off. It feel as if there is nothing that is going to catch you but you have to just trust in the system to know that you will be okay on the way down. This is how I saw my quarter. I was able to concentrate and move upwards through each of the ISTE Teaching standards, but the hardest thing for me is to follow through on applying the standards. I have to trust that the foundations of these standards will work for me even if it’s a bit scary to try as I am afraid of failing. It isn’t a perfect metaphor, but I think it sort of works.
Anyways, at the beginning of this quarter I hadn’t really looked that closely at the ISTE Teaching or Coaching standards as last quarter was more focused on the student aspect of things. As it has been for every quarter, being able to collaborate with my colleagues is an eye-opening experience for me. When I am exploring on my own I have this set mind-set of how things are supposed to look and then as I am talking with others my idea of the standard expands into more well-rounded concepts, which I believe has greatly enhanced my learning. As we delved more deeply into each of the standards I slowly started to form more coherent ideas, explored creativity, and general knowledge of each of these standards.
One area that I am particularly interested in is ISTE Teaching Standard 3, which is related to modeling digital age work and learning. When I did research on this standard I realized all of the newer (and older) digital options there are for being able to collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members to support student success. As a physical education teacher I struggle to come up with ways to engage parents more with what is happening in physical education (especially related to their students progress) and finding great tools (such as Remind.com) has inspired me to try new things in this area next year. Furthermore, I know that I will be at at least more than one school next year teaching physical education so I’m curious to see what I can do with this with parents and schools that I may not be very connected to due to the nature of my job.
Next year, I would like to tackle one small goal from each teaching standard and try to incorporate that into my lessons and planning. I’m starting to realize that the way to make habits stick is to start small and slowly progress as I get more comfortable. This way I avoid burning out or becoming overwhelmed even if it’s something that I’m really excited about. This was something that I noticed while doing my Global Collaboration Project. I wanted to do more than what I did for the project, but I knew deep down that it was not a good idea given the time I had and my commitments in other areas.
Finally, I hope that next year I can help to coach teachers using technology to assist in student success even if it is at a minimal level. As I start to incorporate more technology into my physical education classes I wish to share this with at least my PLC of other physical education teachers and show them what is possible for our field. My hope is that as I model these tools other teachers will be more open to adopting small changes in their own instruction to help create more meaningful interactions with technology for students.