I think my reflective week first started when I was talking with someone about Creativity during a Twitter Chat. My perspective was that creativity cannot be taught but, facilitated. This person pointed out that it could be taught because skills, process, and imagination equals Creativity. They also pointed out that it could be because skill and process can be taught although imagination cannot. I remember reading that. Once I did, I got to the point of really questioning my philosophy of teaching and learning. I remember afterwards, calling my mentor and good friend, who is a Talented and Gifted Teacher (TAG), to ask what her opinion was. She also agreed that creativity could be taught and she explained her rationale for it. For myself I had a hard time, and think still having a hard time wrapping my mind around that concept because I saw Creativity like an equation: Creativity=skill+ process+imagination....but if imagination can't be taught then creativity can't be taught. I felt like it could be facilitated more than directly taught. I also felt that it is not something that could be taught because creativity is subjective. As stated previously though, the perception that it can be taught has made me question my teaching practice though. I could not help but ask myself, have I been doing a disservice to my students because I have not been teaching them creativity? But then I had to remind myself, I teach skills and I help them process things in a variety of ways, so I have been working with them.
Those who know me also know I am in graduate school working on my Master's as well as earning a Math Endorsement to my certification for K-5 mathematics. Currently, I am taking Numbers and Operations in Elementary Education and an internship course. As part of the internship, I must be observed by my professor twice this semester. Thursday, was my first observation. I was really nervous leading up to it. One thing the Early Childhood Education department at Georgia State University focuses on is children learning through a constructivist approach. I remember giving students a task what would be considered "Procedures with Mathematics" as a cognitive demand level. Because I wanted to excel at that observation and see how much my students could do, I spent so much time planning the lesson. It is not to say I do not do the same for other lessons, but I think I was very purposeful in the way in which I did things. While students were working, it was amazing to see because of the high cognitive demand placed on them, that many of them could do procedures and many of them attended to precision. While reflecting on the lesson, I could not help, but think, they truly are some thinking individuals. They were even going deeper with their learning. The questions and responses as well as strategies were truly surprising me. The discourse that took place at the end of the lesson truly showed me what my students knew and how I need to change some instructional practices so they can be challenged even more.
By Saturday, I was at EdCamp ATL. My first session was really informative. It helped me dig deeper into math instruction and math instructional practices. I am grateful for that session. My next session was about Blogging and doing it in 180 days. I think that is easy depending on your work environment, especially if you never work in a public school setting. I couldn't help, but think, blogging does mean it requires you to do so everyday. It depends on the person. The individual has to choose how he or she wants to reflect. My final session was on Flipped Classrooms. I could not help but think about how going flipped is more than just videos. Part of the instructional model is happening outside of the traditional classroom, so traditional classroom time can be spent on activities and hands on learning. It doesn't require a video. Many teachers have been doing flipped classrooms for a long time. As the teacher, I could have students read a textbook or passage, so when they come to class, they have some background knowledge on discussion or activity they will complete.
This past week, was a very tiresome, busy, and stressful week...far beyond what I have written so far. However, I must say I am truly grateful at the same time because it caused me to reflect on my practices as a teacher. I want to help my students become the best learners and most importantly, people they can be. Above are photos of activities with my children. I want them to construct their own learning. I want their learning experience to be meaningful and I want them to develop self-regulatory skills. I am glad to have people who challenge my opinions and thought because it helps to improve my practice which helps improves my students. Before I end this post, I must shout out Rafranz Davis and my mentor Kenyanee Releford for their views this week helped me be more reflective.