Educator Bucket List

[Part 2 of 3 in an attempt to create a meaningful essay response to the Friends’ School. “What would you hope to gain from your internship?”]

During my intern year, I’d like to scratch some things off my educator bucket list.  Or at least begin to explore them. I’ve recently started this list as a way to flesh out my self-directed learning goals.  I feel these make me the kind of teacher I want for my own children.  Although not all of them are quantifiable, nor even achievable during the intern year, I believe they are the best representation of what I *will* gain during my internship… because I am actively seeking these things. In no particular order, the first 10 items on my educator bucket list:

  1. Build and maintain relationships with mentor teachers throughout the world who will broaden my horizons and stretch my worldview.
  2. Understand  multiple intelligences and use them to personalize student learning opportunities.
  3. Attend EduCon 2.4 in person (January 2012).
  4. Manage a student directed classroom while still meeting state standards.  (I really think it can be done…. I’m just not sure how yet!)
  5. Visit Mitch Squires’ class and school…. in Sydney, Australia.
  6. Lose my preconceived notions about what learning should look like, and learn instead to observe students in the act of learning.
  7. Equip children to relate to other people as global citizens, with respect for personal differences and understanding of cultural differences.
  8. Spend a week at Reggio Emilia attending their week-long workshop.
  9. Create a classroom community that is supportive, respectful, energetic, and joyful.
  10. Obtain my Initial Colorado Teaching License.

More items to come.  I have added a page to this blog with my ‘bucket list’ items, where I can grow them, change them, and cross them off. ((Here we go again with that paper thing…. but I still think I need it.  Bottom line, I want the respect that comes with it. However shallow that makes me. 🙂 I find it more than a little amusing that WordPress keeps cutting the number 1 off of the “10”, leaving that item at number “0”.))

Do you have an educator bucket list?  If not, would you like to start one with me? If you do, please share a link to yours in the comment section .

Magnetic Learning

[Part 1 of 3 in an attempt to create a meaningful essay response to the Friends’ School. “Why are you drawn to the field of education?”]

Creative Commons License photo credit: Scarygami

Learning is the magnet which draws me to the field of education.  It’s that simple.

I love learning.  I love helping others learn.  My passion is connecting people with resources and contacts that facilitate their own learning.  Big people. Little people. Age does not matter in the context of learning, as much as willingness does.  However, children have a natural curiosity and that makes them joyful travelling companions on the road of life. They stop to notice a weed growing out of a sidewalk crack. They are open to new ideas and even welcome them.  They question everything. The world is their oyster… and I love to share it with them. Through a book.  Through a website.  Through a global connection. Through a conversation. Through living alongside them.

It goes without saying that I enjoy children.  I have four of my own, whom I cherish and respect.  They’re amazing people.  Children are amazing people.  Which of those terms is the most important? People.  These young learners are people- with their own opinions and ideas, and they will construct my future.  I want to be able to help them construct theirs by encouraging them to be self-directed learners.

Equally important  is what repels me.  As a field, education is not so much about learning anymore.  It’s about test scores, standards based report cards, and poorly used technology. I don’t relish the idea of shoving authentic learning aside in order to meet particular goal.  I don’t like marching students down the hall in straight, quiet lines. I don’t like having students sign-out of a classroom to go to the restroom.  I don’t like giving homework. I don’t like reports sent home for saying silly words.

I’d rather learn.  I’d much rather have willing minds ready to explore the world. That’s what draws me to education. Learning.