Saturday, March 11, 2006

Are Mistakes Reflections of the Students or the Teacher?

·

Nancy over at Random Thoughts writes:

Are the mistakes of my students a reflection on me and my teaching?

In a comment to my previous post, Bronwyn indicated that they are. In the not-too-distant past I would have agreed with her; I felt that if my students appeared to be less than perfect, it somehow meant I was not a "good" teacher. But now I have to say that I don't agree.

Learning requires the active participation of the learner. Unfortunately, many students see learning as something that someone else does to them.

I think that a student's published work is a reflection of the student. When they do a good job it reflects well on them and when they don't it doesn't. The real "blog juice" is the global audience. When kids finally realize that what they write is being read and talked about by people across the globe they are inspired to do better work; they want to make a good impression. This is why I think it's so important for teachers to emphasize the fact that publishing to a blog is publishing for a global audience. Students need to be reminded many times before they "get it." This is the main reason all my class blogs have Visitor Maps. They were installed, but invisible, for the first two weeks of the semester. When the map links went live the students were able to "see" their audience immediately.

As for student performance being a reflection on the teacher, well, it is. That you encourage and orchestrate the publication of student work is an act of bravery in our profession. Many educators have a fear of transparency. Those that don't are powerful examples for their students (and colleagues).

If anyone judges your work through your students work then they should look at the work of your very best students. The ones who followed your lead, took your advice and engaged you and the content you teach. That would be an authentic example of the learning opportunities you create for your students. It also stands as a model for other students to build on; and we all need good models to look up to.

Keep up the good work Nancy!

5 comments:

Nancy McKeand said...
11/3/06 10:20  

Thanks so much! I really do appreciate the kind words. And I appreciate the example you set and the ideas you give me.

I am definitely going to look into visitor maps. I think they could be very motivating.

And I am going to keep on publishing student work.

Bronwyn G said...
11/3/06 17:43  

Keep on publishing student work.

I wish I had not been so quite harsh with an experienced teacher who quite obviously knows what she's doing. It's hard for us from the outside to judge.

And put visitor maps. They are really interesting!

Jo McLeay said...
12/3/06 21:01  

Love the idea of the maps on class blogs. How do you install them yet have them invisible?

Darren said...
12/3/06 21:22  

The code for the visitor maps comes in two pieces.

Part one is a bit of java script that is always invisible, it's the code that the site gives you to paste into your template when you create the map.

Part two is the actual link to the map itself. The link is generated at the same time the java script is.

Install part one immediately -- even before the class first meets.

Part two, the hyperlink to the map itself, can also be installed immediately. you can make it invisible by inserting an ! as the first character of the html code.

for example this link:

<a href="PutUrlHere.com">this text will be the link</a>

can be made invisible by editing it to look like this:

<!a href="PutUrlHere.com"><!this text will be the link><!/a>

Remove these edits to make it visible again.

Email me if this still sounds confusing. ;-)

Jo McLeay said...
13/3/06 19:30  

Thanks Darren, I'm going to try it.

Learning about learning ...

While walking ...
Best viewed "full screen." (Click on bottom right corner of any video when playing.)

With pictures ...
Best viewed "full screen." (Click on bottom right corner of any image when playing.)

Curating discoveries ...


Archives

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.

My Class Blogs

Class Blog 2004-2005
Class Blogs 2005 - 2006
Class Blogs 2006 - 2007
Class Blogs 2007 - 2008
Class Blogs 2008 - 2009

Delicious Links