Excited About Learning

When I was teaching my French class on Thursday, I was struck by something a student said.  I try to greet my French students in a way that makes them feel valued and, in turn, help to ensure they like to be in my class. I figure this is the first step to them learning, especially something like another language (when many struggle with their first language).  I want my students to want to be there with me.

So, in my usual form, after welcoming each student individually as they entered the computer lab (yes, we have French class in the computer lab a lot of the time), I welcomed the class as a whole and continued by telling them how glad I was that they were there with me that day and how I thought they were just wonderful students who have so much to offer!  I meant it. They really are wonderful.  The student’s faces beamed with delight.  I must have laid it on a little thicker than usual because one of my students questioned me,

Student: “What’s up, Mrs. Henriksen?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Student: “You are just so, well, happy today.”

Me: “Aren’t I usually happy and glad to see you all?”

Student: “Yes, but today is different. You are even more so than usual. You seem so excited about something.”

Hmmmm…  then I started thinking. Yes, I am excited. I am energized. I am enthusiastic. Even more so than usual.

There are so many great opportunities and exciting learning happening right now, that they’ve got me even more enthusiastic than usual.  Here are some of the things that are so exciting (and inspiring) right now:

  • One of the Grade 5 teachers at our school, Mrs. Noakes, is starting a collaborative Project-Based Learning Project with another school in Michigan (we live in British Columbia, Canada).  It is such an exciting venture! The students in two of our classes will be skyping with two classes in the school in Michigan.  First of all, the students will be working together to come up with a problem that occurs in their home and then they will create an invention to “fix” that problem.  They will be working collaboratively in small groups. They will be skyping each week and adding information about their inventions to a wiki.  The students are so excited! But, even more so, the teachers are beyond being excited.  They are thrilled!  Here is the wiki, a work in progress.  While the two teachers have been skyping and working on this project for some time, the students begin their skyping sessions on Tuesday morning.
  • Our school was chosen to be part of a minimum 2 year field study to support at-risk aboriginal students in the area of Numeracy.  Part of the field study involves having an Early Numeracy Teacher work in the classrooms with our primary aboriginal students who struggle in the area of numeracy. The Early Numeracy Teacher is just wonderful!  She started introducing herself to the students and classes last week.  We are thrilled to have the opportunity to get this additional support for our aboriginal students.  It is so exciting for them (and us).
  • Our district is leading the way in the province in the area of 21st Century Learning and  finding innovative ways to engage our students in their learning.  Late last week, we learned about an Innovative Learning Designs grant for which schools can apply. This is Phase two of the Innovative Learning Designs Project that schools applied to be a part of last year. I didn’t know about this project because I was on maternity leave when it came out.  I am excited to be able to submit a proposal with our staff this year!
  • The VP Network Meeting is coming this week. Normally, a Network meeting would not be very exciting to me. This will be different though because we are giving our members an opportunity to meet 1 hour before our actual meeting starts to talk about Twitter and blogging. I love this informal sharing. I believe it can be very powerful learning!  In addition, we are having guest, Heidi Hass Gable (@HHG) to come speak with us about Engaging Parents with Social Media (and anything else that comes up).  It’s always nice seeing Heidi. She has a great deal of knowledge and provides inspiration to us all.
  • Alec Couros is coming to our district!  Last month, our district hosted George Couros (@gcouros) to our Digital Discovery Session for Administrators.  The Digital Coaches had the opportunity to have lunch with George and ask questions we may have for him. Then, that evening, George gave an inspiring talk about Social Media to all administrators present. What a day!  This week, we get to do the same with George’s brother, Alec Couros (@courosa) – he will be joining some of us for lunch and then presenting to administrators in the evening. I am excited about this opportunity.  More so though, I am excited that teachers will be able to hear Alec speak this week as well, at a separate session on Wednesday.  I look forward to meeting Alec and hearing him speak on Thursday!
  • I have had more time to learn from, and enjoy, my PLN this week.  I always find reading people’s tweets and blogs inspiring.  There are times when I do not have a lot of time to spend on Twitter or looking at blogs in my Google Reader, Zite, or in Flipboard, but when I do, I am always thankful.

So, yes, I guess my student was correct. I am very excited with and motivated by everything happening in our school and district right now. It is energizing to be a small part of this innovation!  It is not only energizing to me, but also to the teachers and students.  The teacher who is implementing the Global project with her class summed it up on Thursday when she said that it takes her forever to get to sleep on Wednesday nights because Wednesday night is the night that she and the teacher from Michigan skype together about their project.  She is so energized after the skyping session that she finds it difficult to wind down.

Is this not what we want to inspire in our students – to be so excited about something that they are energized by it?  I think that is a whole other blog post!

What exciting things are happening for you currently?

What inspires you?

Who inspires you?

About Tia M. Dawson

There are many things that define who I am as a person. First of all, I am a mother of 3 wonderful children! I can not express how fortunate we are to have our children in our life! Secondly, I am an elementary educator who recently returned to the classroom after 12+ years as an elementary school administrator. Lastly, I am passionate about helping others, learning about abuse, helping others in abusive relationships, and helping others understand their worth.
This entry was posted in Curriculum, Instructional Leadership, Leading the Learning, Professional Development, Reflection, Technology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Excited About Learning

  1. Laura says:

    Hi TIa!

    Great post! You have a lot to be excited about. Right now I am excited because our last unit of curriculum in my 8th grade classroom is the most open, which means we can be more creative. It also has a multi-media focus which engages my students. There are six weeks of school left, and then I am on the curriculum writing committee which will be rewriting the Communication Arts curriculum for my district, which I am very excited about. Thanks for getting me focused on the positive!

    Keep your extra happiness!

    Laura

    • T. Henriksen says:

      Hi Laura,

      Yes! It sounds like you have an exciting last term. It is great that you can end your school year on such a positive note – with lots of choice and creativity. I bet your students love it as well!

      You are very fortunate to be a part of rewriting the Communication Arts curriculum. What a great opportunity and experience. I’m sure it will be interesting and, hopefully, exciting.

      It is so important to keep focused on the positive. There is so much positive around us each day! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post. I appreciate it.

      Keep on smiling,
      Tia

  2. Coach Sue says:

    Yes, you have a lot to celebrate and I picture you with a broad smile. I also have a lot to celebrate. Let’s say and Yippee in unison and do a Snoopy Dance!
    Sue Bock
    http://couragetoadventurecoaching.wordpress.com

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