- The first resource I found was mentioned by Sam in his blog post last week about Seek 7 Sunday. The resource is the New Teacher Support Center and I think it is something I am going to continually use in the future. This website is great for all teachers! Though I am not technically a “new” teacher, I still found this website to be helpful in learning new and effective ways of teaching. I will admit I am struggling this year with behavior management in my classroom and I am so excited that this website has a ton of articles and strategies for how to best work with students. I am really excited to use their feature called “virtual coaching”. Not only will this tool allow me to learn new ways to improve my teaching and management but it will also allow me to connect with another mentor teacher. This will help me on my connected learning journey as it will grow my circle of connections and allow me to see and learn from the perspective of another educator.
- Another resource that was mentioned by a classmate of mine was the Philadelphia Math + Science Coalition. Linsa, my classmate writes, “This program is sponsored by the Philadelphia Education Fund and they host monthly STEM teacher forums for professional development. Not only is it free but participating teachers also can receive Act 48 credit!” I love the idea of being able to attend in person sessions to better professionally develop myself. Though I think Connected Learning is a great way to learn, I sometimes still prefer the traditional classroom approach and so I think the PMSC might be a great place to get that kind of fix for myself. As I continue to pose, wobble and (hopefully) flow in my understanding of STEM education I think that the PMSC will be a great place for me to go and learn more!
- My classmate Eric also mentioned the website YouthTruth as a great resource for continuing to grow and wobble as an educator. This site is a service in which you can actually survey your students and find out what they think about your teaching. I love this idea because who better to help improve your teaching than the students who are actually on the receiving end of that teaching? While the service does cost money, I would like to develop some surveys over the next few months to get students to assess my teaching and help me improve my methods!
- I am always looking for new ways to deeply connect with my students. I strongly feel that the more students buy-in to the connection they have with the teacher, the more the students will buy-in to the idea of the learning that goes on in the classroom. Tracey Dean, a classmate of mine, shared this video about a 3rd grade teacher who has a special handshake with every member of his class! I think this is such a simple yet powerful way to connect with students and have them invest in the classroom environment each day.
- STEM Ecosystems Logic Model – I consistently look for ways to successfully integrate STEM into my classroom and I think that is going to be the focus of my connected learning journey this semester – how to connect the two together, This is a great resource that I can use to help determine how to best ensure that STEM is being truly integrated into my classroom rather than being placed on top of as an addition to what I already do.