Final Reflection

It’s hard for me to say whether or not this class is what I expected because I didn’t know exactly what to expect.  You never know what a class will turn out like because it depends so much on the attitudes of the students. Mr. Miller and I  developed a strong idea for what we wanted the class to be like:  lots of exploration and questioning.  Mostly, this was very successful.  Many students took to the freedom and used the time and opportunities we gave them to take their learning to a new level.  A few wasted their time and didn’t take things seriously.  To really judge things, though, I am going to have to focus on the first group because they are the ones we did this for.  I think that they discovered things about themselves and how they learn that will aid them in their futures.  I am so proud of what they accomplished!

I am going to take SO MUCH away from this class.  First of all, the hikes that Mr. Miller showed us were unbelievable and I can’t wait to visit some of these spots again.  Of course, it won’t be the same without the whole crew!  I am also taking away a deeper undersanding of Geometer’s Sketchpad and Cellular Automata.  These are two things that I’d never really been able to play around with and explore until now.  I’ve also made my first blog, which was a great experience!  The biggest things I will take have to do with the students.  First, I will take away some of the relationships I’ve built with the young adults in the class.  Some students I already knew well (such as my advisees), and our bonds were strengthened.  Others I was able to work with for the first time (Marquinika, Brenda, Karla, Dennis, Jessica, Lucretia).  These relationships and what I’ve learned from each student have changed my iterative path ever so slightly–but who knows what the Butterfly Effect has in store.  Another thing about students that I will take away is how they have an innate curiosity that is sometimes buried by the piles of “muck” they must learn in their regular classes.   These are important no doubt, but if a student has never been given the freedom to explore on their own, it is much less meaningful.  I was amazed at how giving the students cameras and a simple assignment to “find patterns” shifted their focus from socializing to searching for what makes the world around them move as it does.

The hardest thing was organizing the countless ideas and experiences that I wanted to share with my students.  There is so much I know they would benefit from seeing, but we had to try and draw a fine line between doing the right amount and DTM.  In the end, the organic nature of our planning put us right at that magical edge between order and chaos.  Another hard thing was for me to stop teaching and learn.  There is so much I can teach my students, but there is just as much that they can teach me.  I feel that I did accomplish this, however, and was able to help my students develop their own ideas and learn from what they had to share.

During this post-session, I learned how to use my camera to take much better close-up macro shots.  I usually take mostly landscape shots when I’m exploring nature because of the difficultites I’ve had with focusing on small objects.  Nevertheless, I was able to take some incredible close-up shots during our journeys and I now have an additional item in my photographer’s bag of tricks.

To close out my reflection I want to thank every single one of my students.  You all inspire me to keep working hard for you even though I won’t be teaching next year.  I hope you will keep working hard for yourselves!  I also want to thank Mr. Miller for mentoring and teaching me these last couple of years.  Aside from the new things you have shown me, you have also been a great sounding board for me to develop my own ideas and theories.  I hope we get a chance to run this postsession again!



3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    shakirhitsu said,

    WOOOOOOOOW… OK… I see how it is no just kidding.. I’m going to miss this class and I know I learned from you and miller.

  2. 3

    megm3 said,

    Aw Roberts! I feel our relationship strengthened too: you are more annoying and nosey than before. Kidding. You’re pretty awesome =]

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