Collaborative Teaming

Week 38 (of 38) – June 10 to 14, 2019

This is my last weekly blog reflection for this school year. This marks the end of my teaching year at UNBC in the School of Education. It’s been an adventure to say the least. There was so much to learn professionally… pedagogically… and personally. Even though this blog entry marks “the end” of the school year, I suspect that I will continue to write (maybe not as regularly) until the fall term. The photo above marks the end of my school year. A black rectangle. This is what I would normally look at (with the student’s name in the centre of the screen) or my face when I taught my online course this spring term. Although I saw a few of my students briefly online, the cameras were off for my students throughout the course. Teaching synchronously online, teaching a course out of my subject specialty, and teaching a class I could not see were new experiences for me.

We had our last class on Wednesday where we had a role play as a collaborative summative assessment. It was AMAZING. All of our learning was leading up to this moment. Reading our textbook, having student led discussions, reading policy, and co-constructing the role play to make sense of the course content and find take-aways that were meaningful and actionable captured the essence of this course. I was so lucky to have students who were willing to play and take a risk with their learning to engage in learning experience where “there is no back row in this class.” (I love that. This was something one of my students had said.) We essentially shared our learning and engaged in sense-making together. I am very proud of what my class has accomplished.

For some reason, it was the right number of people in my class, the right amount of diversity and expertise, and the right disposition and people who were enrolled in the course to make this magic happen. I always looked forward to this class and challenged myself on how to make this a student-centred learning experience that is personalized, meaningful, and dialogical. I wanted to be the learner too… not just with what we were learning… but as an educator. I wanted to try out new ideas in terms of pedagogy and I wanted all of us to be mutually accountable for our actions and contribution. The class went very well and all of the students met expectations. Thank you for being you!!!

What I am grateful for the most was them reminding me what I do what I do. I love to teach. I love systems and processes. I love looking at the big picture and analyzing. I love co-constructing knowledge. I love it when my students have an “aha” (much like teaching high school math). I love how the course was about collaborative teams and we became a collaborative team. I love doing the meta. The last 8-weeks were difficult for me and 6 of them were with my class. They saved me. Teaching this class kept me grounded in my why. I feel stronger than ever, standing on my two feet, knowing that I had an impact on their learning and possibly their practice. Does that excite me? Yes it does!!!

Thank you spring session class. I really enjoyed teaching and learning with you. You are the last of my “new” at UNBC. I am sure there there are more “new” experiences ahead of me, but I am so thankful when I get a comment from one student that said, “I thought this course would have been dry” to another comment that said, “This is probably one of my favourite courses I’ve taken.” You have made my day!!! I’m not sure it’s because you are all educators or if you were just willing to play with me, but being together with you in this course was perfectly timed for me. All I can say is, “right back at you.”

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