Stall High School, North Charleston, South Carolina
Having been in education for over thirty years, I have seen a plethora of change, all of which have always sparked some sort of controversy, but ultimately mandated in the spirit of what is best for students. My mantra has always been, “If it isn’t broken…don’t fix it.“ Hence, yearly I have entered my classroom excited to engage my students in teacher-led instruction. This ol’ dog was certain that I knew a thing or two about capturing and engaging students in a lesson that I chose.
For the last ten years though, I have realized that it is necessary for me to “modify and adjust” in order to appease new thinking and relate to a new generation of learners. In this quest to adapt to change, I entertained the concept of this thing called “Personalized Learning.” I was hesitant at first, however I slowly but steadily relinquished teacher-led instruction and moved towards student-driven instruction and collaborative engagement amongst my students. What a shocker! They really did know how they learn best and were vying for the opportunity to have “choice“ in how they mastered what was assigned.
To wrap up this dog show, this personal reflection is an ol’ dog barking to sound an alarm: What WAS working no longer works for today’s students, so take it “personally” and consider allowing your students to own their learning.