Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why the Change?

In order to answer why, according to Ken Robinson, I have joined the learning revolution I have to look back to January of last year when I considered taking a break from teaching.  It has always been a dream of mine to move somewhere far from Wisconsin, just for a little while.  Well last year was not the easiest and I was questioning if kindergarten was where I really belonged.  That being said, when I got the opportunity to move to Australia to be an au pair(nanny), I accepted with open arms.  That is a long story however, it ended up falling through and to my surprise I felt relieved.  As I reflected on my feelings to decide if I would look for other opportunities in Australia or stay at the school I loved, I really had to figure out what was causing my anxiety with kindergarten.  I absolutely love, love, love my school!!!  I have a fantastic kindergarten team, amazing teachers all around me, support staff who keep me sane, and an administration that truly supports, challenges, and advocates for me.  Why then did I want to leave?! That's what I realized, I do not want to leave but, I do want to make a change.

I love technology and experimenting with new ideas.  When I heard about personalized learning during a professional development I knew this was the direction I wanted to head.  My nights and weekends turned into time for research and I found myself lost in blog after blog about integrating technology, differentiation, and personalized learning.  I have listened to so many Ted talks I started dreaming about them.  Through all of this I decided personalized learning truly is best for each child and for me.  I believe differentiation is a best practice and should be in every classroom.  At first I thought of personalized learning as differentiation however, I now realize differentiation is still more of a whole group approach whereas personalized learning truly meets the needs of each individual.  While listening to Ken Robinson’s Ted talks, and reading about education in Finland everything I was hearing made sense.  I found myself asking why wasn't I doing this already?  A  teaching strategy that engages each child, fosters creativity and independence, and reduces negative behaviors.  Yes please, sign me up.  So that is one of my goals this year, to implement personalized learning, and it has been a lot of work but I believe it will be worth it in the end.