Being a regular classroom teacher I loved providing students with opportunities to be creators with technology, not just consumers. I desired to have a platform where I could provide innovative educational experiences for students. When I discovered the EdTechTeam Teacher Leader Certification program, I was inspired as an educator to change my thinking to become more creative in my approach to student learning. My logo exemplifies my professional motto.
Now as a computer teacher, our daily experiences with coding can provide opportunities for design thinking, problem solving and creativity. My approach is startling to the minds of students who are accustomed to having specific instructions for being “creative”, which I feel is a contradiction. But through the trust of allowing failure and reassurance in second chances, students buy into accepting the challenges in my classroom.
Currently, the Coding class follows the curriculum of Code.org and Scratch. Embedded within computer experiences are activities. These are physical and mental challenges that allow them to be innovative, creative and change gears allowing exploration.
Every once and awhile providing such an opportunistic form of learning, I hear students moan “this is hard”. I rejoice in knowing they are having to critically think, analyze and use their failures to produce new paths. Success for my students comes through personal accomplishments resulting from taking risks.
As their teacher, I must emulate those same actions as I continue to be a learner, a student in the ever-changing world of EdTech. I do what they do, I know what they know because I do the work myself.
African Centered College Preparatory Academy
Kansas City, Missouri
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