Hello, reader! If you intend to post a link to this blog on Twitter, be aware that for utterly mysterious reasons, Twitter thinks this blog is spam, and will prevent you from linking to it. Here's a workaround: change the .com in the address to .ca. I call it the "Maple Leaf Loophole." And thanks for sharing!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer Learning, PCMI Edition: Keep Learning

This is ('s a goal but I am distractable...ooh! shiny!) a series of posts that are reflections from the Park City Mathematics Institute Secondary School Teachers Program - the best professional learning out there, in my opinion, except it sounds like next year it's basically canceled or at least way diminished (thanks, dysfunctional government!) We wrote personal reflections on a regular basis, and I spent 20-30 minutes before bed every day writing down things I didn't want to forget. The reflections were supposed to be private, but you all know I'm an exhibitionist about my learning.Without further ado,

Lesson 1: The most important thing I can do to keep improving as a teacher is to keep placing myself in the position of learning new things. The discomfort, confusion, coping - I have to keep coming back to it and back to it. The goal is perceiving myself, even when facing thirty teenagers, as an "accomplished novice" instead of an "answer-filled expert." How do teachers move from expert to novice? That is hard to do and even hard to think about - a desirable pathway but a difficult one to find. But the "accomplished novice" attitude is one I respect in the best teachers I know. If I don't keep placing myself in the learner role, I forget, forget, forget. "Answer-filled expert" is the pattern of habits I fall into when I forget.