I feel as though I am a new teacher again! The Expeditionary Learning Institute was a refreshing and inspiring experience that has me more eager than ever to start school in the Fall.
I have to admit that those Back-to-School sales in July are bittersweet. My typical reaction, since I am usually still teaching summer school, is a seesaw between “Already?!?!” and “Oooooh! Look at all this cool stuff for my classroom!” They get me thinking and planning for my next school year.
Expeditionary Learning has added a whole new dimension to that planning! A wise University professor once said that a teacher can teach the first year “X” times or can teach for “X” years. In other words, a teacher can teach the same thing year after year, in the same way, or the teacher can learn, live, grow and change the way she teaches every year to make it the best for her students and herself.
I have always tried to be the teacher that changes and makes things better every year. Expeditionary Learning has allowed me to take a giant leap in my growth as a teacher. I know this experience will also help my students to take giant leaps in their learning as well.
I am a teacher that believes in the PROCESS of learning more than the outcome. In this fast-paced world, I am preparing my kindergarten students for jobs that have not even been created yet. So how can I possibly prepare them for those jobs? I do it by teaching them how to solve problems, how to THINK, how to collaborate with others, how to use what they know to figure out what they don’t know, and where to look for answers.
Expeditionary Learning is a way to teach all these skills. It brought what I already knew into a cohesive, thoughtful, learning process that has me extra excited to meet my students in September and share it with them. Yes, I feel like a new teacher again!
Mrs. Anne Brphy