I learned a lot this fall semester because I had to. I was a quick study of PhotoShop layers and my kids did some pretty good things with the little bit I knew and was able to pass on.
I learned that my multimedia kids hate to take photos, but I don’t understand why. I always gave them lots of leeway in the assignments, but they fought me each week on getting three pictures taken and uploaded. You would have thought I was asking them to do calculus. They enjoyed using the photos I uploaded for them, and many would not have done the assignments without my pictures.
I learned that the kids who did really well are the ones I’ve had before. They are well trained and ready to get in and do the work. The others, who don’t know me very well, would fool around, wasting time, and then want the deadlines to be extended. Hah. They also thought they could turn in crappy work, as long as they turned in something, and could pass the class. They found out that I am a tough grader who expects good work. My academy students would always try to make their work better, taking to heart each check point and the evaluations I would give them. Maybe this next semester I will see better work from the newbies.
I learned that I must be unusual in that I don’t have a desk in my classrooms. I sit and work where ever there is space and/or an open computer. But reading another blog, I find that is a dream of others. I have a wonderful office, however, where I can store my stuff.
I learned that NOT teaching sophomores for the first time in 18 years was wonderful. I had no idea how much time and energy I put into those kids until I didn’t have to do it. My classes are filled with upper classmen which I really like, especially since two thirds of my students are from my previous sophomore classes where I worked so hard to get them trained.
I learned I can teach FrontPage, and the kids can do a good job with the little I give them. I’m glad that was the last unit we did this semester and will use it as a starting point in January. I’m sure there is still much to be learned, as that is what education is all about.