Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Tough Year

It would be easy to say my school year was perfect.

It would be easy to put a bow around 2013-2014 by showing my greatest hits--great projects, wonderful success stories, and enlightening tips.

...but it may be more important to step back and say, I struggled through parts of the year. It is hard to put a finger on why I feel this way. I could point to some discipline issues or unmet expectations (mostly my own), but more than anything there was a feeling I walked through the end of the year with. It went something like "Damn did I do that right?"

To some degree this may be natural. I experimented a lot, tried a bunch of new things, even implemented a completely new learning theory to underlie my teaching (hint: it rhymes with sm-onstructionism) Good experiments blow up (or so I am told) and all is well as long as no one gets hurt. I just hope we all learned enough through the process to justify some of the explosions along the way.

In my heart, I believe we did. Students coded on Scratch, made innovative projects with the Makey-Makey, built circuits with Plato (oh ya, its not spelled that way), and even helped run a school children's museum. I wanted them to see education in a completely new way. I wanted learning to be something they owned, something they asked for, something that was limitless.

I felt like I needed to be better for them to experience the vision I set out. I needed to follow up on their questions more. I needed to be more consistent with them. I needed to be more skilled at coding, or making, or with hardware. Change is not easy and I felt it this year.

Next year is a new year and I am excited with some new opportunities I have. I may have struggled with some parts of this year, but then I look more closely and think...I learned so much because I struggled. I had to push myself. Hopefully, I will be even better because of a tough year.

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