Friday, July 01, 2016

haven't learned anything


I went to a local library today with my children. 

We discovered a maker-space and asked if we could print out some lego. We could, so we did. An hour and a half later we returned to retrieve the completed piece.

Final cost $5.05 and 1.5 hours of time. Seemed expensive...but I had no benchmark to measure from, so I paid. It made me think about the last few days of my school year.

On exam review day a student challenged their final mark on both the exam and the culminating task. I am always open to these discussions and encourage students to think critically about their needs and wants in my classes. 

As such at the beginning of each semester I explain that each student will be able to explain and describe their learning without any references to marks by semester end.

This student looked at their final marks and asked 'Why's my mark was so low?'

20160714-142258-17trfpi.jpg

'What have you learned?' I asked.

'I haven't learned anything obviously...'

'Then your mark is on point from what I have observed of your learning, what have I missed?'

'What do you mean?' Anger bubbled in the question.

'Have you learned more than what I observed in class? What did I miss?'

The student then proceeded to explain their thoughts and observations from class, sometimes there was curriculum connections, other times just keen observation. 

Ultimately, the student demonstrated a depth of learning that indeed did not surface on their final summatives.

Final cost 1.5 hours of my time.

What should I have done? 

Change the mark or leave the mark as is? 

What would you have done?

some are learning

20160709-191411.jpgIf I were taking a course, either online or in-class, creating time for wellness and even happiness would be difficult.

Truthfully, I have never really given in to trying to relax and create balance in my summer time away from teaching.

A hat tip to Matthew R. Morris for reminding me that teaching draws on many personal resources, summer time and downtime  opens up the possibility of recharging, reloading, and returning to the activities of life.

This is the first summer in a long time that I have not taught. I think that in 11 years this is the second time I am without work and the first time that it was intentional.

I am walking and playing with my kids and growing things in my garden.

This has been a very fortunate accident.

troubling bridge over water

20160709-180832.jpgI've been walking a lot this past week.

Somewhere in these kilometres, my analytical self started chatting with my wellness/fitness self. My sudden sense of jiggliness and my guilt over obvious free time was a hot topic between them.

Being off for the summer will bring many mini projects into focus. For now, I am focussed on a small personal wellness task...losing weight. And beyond that, feeling better.

I am sure that I go through this self-congratulatory false revelation moment every summer. This time my intent is fueled by random thoughts of mortality and general wellness.
I am searching for the tools to extend this endeavour beyond the summer, when work starts again and routines are more regimented.