Growing is Showing
We grow in almost every way imaginable. While yes, we do grow in many physical ways, we also grow internally. Our abilities, strengths, knowledge, mindsets, skills, and approaches grow and our goal is to let that growth show! We are not the same people we were last year, last month, or even last week. We are constantly evolving and growing for the better. This blog for me has been a documentation of my growth in so many areas. Not to toot my own horn (but toot toot) from my first post until now I have seen so much growth in my own personal content I have put out on this site. I have learned from both others and myself on how to create the most authentic and purposeful content. If you have been following along I hope you can celebrate my personal triumphs through this blog with me.
The area in which I think I had the biggest growth spurt so to say was in the area of research. In my second post, Smell the flowers…blow out the candles I discussed the importance of mindfulness and breathing in the classroom. While I had the observations to back up my post, my research was academically speaking lacking (personally speaking sucky). I cited only one research article and wrote about one (very short) paragraph about the studies findings. While I titled the section “What The Experts Say” I really only had one expert to back up what I was saying. Flash forward to my most recent post, I further investigated the idea of mindfulness in the classroom by taking a look at the benefits of yoga in the classroom. Up until this point, I had gained much more exposure to various blog posts, resources, and most importantly feedback. I took these ingredients and cooked up a whole new blog post with a flavorful taste of good wholesome research! In my most recent blog post, I spent the time finding good research and lots of it. I found a way to make my research a good portion of my post without losing my own personal voice. I was able to provide information backed from three amazing resources that helped back up what I was saying.
My research would never have came to fruition if it wasn’t for my observations and questions. I am happy where my level of observations and questions were at the beginning of this project. That being said however, I am even happier with where they are now. While I believe that my observation skills remained consistent throughout the length of this projects, the questions I asked began to accumulate. The observations that generated the most questions was Inquiry in the Rounds. Observing eight rounds of students through our activity allowed my team and myself to generate so many beautiful questions from not only a teachers perspective but also from a students perspective. Observations are great but only when they are paired with questions, research and reflection! That is a statement I will carry with me for a very long time (until my memory gives out).
The most amazing thing about this project was that I was able to present all of this (my observations, questions, research, and reflections) through the unique platform of blog posts. I chose this platform because I enjoy writing, and I feel like I can clearly express my thoughts with my own voice through writing (check out my first experience expressing my voice in my introduction post). This platform allowed me to express my voice and add various other platforms of media into it (youtube videos, personally created videos, and images).
If I would have to do this project again there are some things I would do differently. The main thing I would do differently is my research, like I said before it wasn’t until nearly the end of the project that I truly engulfed myself in finding good wholesome research.
I would also have liked to take more pictures in the field that I could have incorporated into my posts. Another thing I wish I would have done in the field is to interview my cooperating teacher to include in my posts about breathing and yoga. This would have been such a unique and enriching element to add to both of those posts. Hearing fist hand from an educator who implements these practices into her classroom would have provided even more grounding. I wish I would have even done this in a video or podcast format to insert into my blog.
Long Anticipated Moment
One day I will be a teacher, in my own room, with my own students, creating my own learning experiences. When that day comes, I know that I will be implementing many of the things I have talked about in these blog posts.
The content discussed in these posts are all practices and ideas I want to bring in to my classroom. From the yoga and deep breathing to experimentation and questioning. These are all key practices that can be seamlessly implemented into core curriculum and daily schedules that provide long lists of benefits.
What I will carry with me even more is the components behind the creation of these blog posts. The observations, the research, the questioning, and the reflection that is what I will carry with me the most into my future teaching career. Knowing how and what to observe in a classroom leads to making those beautiful questions which then leads to the task of research which then can impact our teaching and allow us to reflect on what is and is not working. You see, this is all a never ending cycle. The world of education is always evolving and changing, so much so that what you know today will be out of date tomorrow (ok maybe being a little dramatic but you get the point). Constantly observing and asking questions will lead me as an educator to stay current on my research. Knowing how to ask more beautiful questions and how to generate quality research will empower my teaching today, tomorrow, and until the day of retirement.
To Those Who Walk This Path After Me
If I could offer a piece of advice to future students who will be doing this project is to pick a medium that you can best express yourself through. Whether its a blog, a video series, or a podcast the most important thing is to pick a medium that ives you the ability to clearly and thoroughly express yourself. Also don’t be afraid to switch it up, maybe one week you think a blog is the best and the next maybe a podcast will be the best.
The other piece of advice I could give is to make your posts meaningful and intentional. Having intentionality behind your posts creates content that is meaningful. Whatever you observe, question, research, and reflect on should be meaningful to you as a future educator. I think this is the best way to ensure that your content is genuine.
To Those Who Have Been a Resource and a Facilitator
If I could give a piece of advice to my research advisor who facilitated and say this project through, it would be to start this project sooner. While we talked about his project from almost the very beginning of the semester, I wish we could have had more chances to create research based posts. This being a research project I do think that we should have had more posting opportunities to in depth research our topics more, or even focused on one topic for all of our postings.
Another piece of advice I could give is for the practice postings to be worth more quality point values rather than just for completion point values. Speaking for myself a lot of time and hard work went into my postings, and I would have liked to see that correlated to a point value that was worth more than just completion.
To the Rest of You
Thank you for joining me and following along through this project journey! As I continue to work towards my degree and grow in my teaching practices, I will remember this journey as I hope you will too. Signing off for the last time, farewell my friends!
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