I read through all the reflections of this session and felt very eager to share what I was thinking and what I perceived through the whole process of my learning.
Professionally I used to take for granted that teaching English with the same strategies, being a homeroom teacher, and organizing group members to work together were all and the only jobs of mine, and all these were nearly the same for the past few years. Through this ECI 521 class, some of my ideas developed theoretically and also practically. With the theories that have learned before, how to apply those into my teaching should be at the top list of an educator. With our CCI group work on creating an inclusive classroom, I acquired that content was not the only thing in a classroom, except for being very familiar with what they are going to teach, educators should take all aspects of school community into consideration, such as the school environment, teaching materials, parents, students, peer relations, and also their cultural differences, ect. Teachers or educators should understand and develop the educational context thoroughly; the key next step would be how to apply their understanding into practice. With our cooperation on the CCI program about technology, we researched on how to balance our teaching with the application of technology. I professionally was very excited to challenge myself on the usage of technology with my teaching. With creating videos, writing poems, and designing the mind map, I improved myself professionally, not only on response to literature reading, but also on considering different cultural/ ethnical issues. On creating our CCI about belonging, I think we established and created different projects on teaching diverse population. I created my project on how to provide students a safe environment for African American students through young adult nonfiction reading of the book We’ve Got a Job. Through the cooperation on this topic belonging, I tried to develop cooperation of my students, on how to improve their cognition of different cultures, historical background information, learning inequity in history, and development of education. I think I could teach diversely and more practically with the understanding of diverse situations. Education equity was also part of what we got from our collaboration. Through the whole process of my learning and the three CCI projects, the biggest change of my initial ideas was that I perceived the importance of cooperation and great leadership.
According to the NC Department of Public Instruction, I professionally improved a lot through reading the young adult literature books. All the books I read helped me understand students more from diverse aspects, which could also facilitate my teaching and my relationship with students. It is our educators’ responsibility to collaboratively acknowledge the diversity of students, the importance of school environment, and advancement of educational equity.
I read different kind of young adult literature books this session. The book The Paradox of Vertical Flight left me great information about what the young adult are always thinking. The book Eleanor and Park made me frustrated at the beginning, but attracted me to think further about the children being abused by their families. I created a mind map after I read The Midwinter Blood, which were about seven different short stories that happened on an island. The graphic novel The Middle School Confidential was very practical for educators to read. The last book I read was We’ve Got a Job, on which I created a CCI program for students, and I also designed pre-, during, and post reading activities for students, which were all focus on providing students a safe and equal environment. All these readings really helped me understand my students’ needs and situations better, which will then motivates our teachers to teach responsively and sensitively. I personally was more sensitive, responsive and more competitive to students diversities. I also practiced and developed greatly on creating products after reading the books. I could say that when I was designing the product, I could sometimes thought from educator’s point of view, and some others could felt the story from students’ aspects. With the design of the CCI project on belonging, and also Dr. Crissman’s sharing of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I could learned students need more easily and found out the way to help them. I also engaged and enjoyed collaborate with Bethany and Jill and also Dr. Crissman on creating this CCI belonging project for students, even through virtual. This Inquiry project should be led by me, but to be honest, I did not do that well on leading group work at the beginning, we shared our projects and different ideas, but I knew that I should have done better. I hoped that this class could be longer and I would have more chance to practice. I was committed to our cooperation and learning in groups. This also helped me think about my learning communities when I go back.
I have to say that I really improved a lot on virtual self. I created my products with movie maker, voice thread, and mind map. I learned how to discuss on the pad let and Titan pad from Jill and Bethany, we also learned how to use the Intra-act to discuss. All our group discussions and cooperation are with the help of technology. I also learned how to apply technology into my teaching practice when I was creating my CCI project. Through our CCI on technology, Bethany also led us discussed how to use technology on teaching literacy. I had a great deal of ideas about how would I apply technology into my teaching. Technology provides me a lot of different approaches on teaching literacy. This would encourage students to engage more and practice more practically.
I really appreciate and enjoyed what I have learned from this class, which really made me feel more energetic and excited with my teaching, even I have been a teacher for so many years. I am very eager to practice using technology into my teaching and my future learning too. Learning is really a lifelong journey and I am now still feeling eager to learn more.