Welcome to Course 5 Post 1

This is my first post for COETAIL Course 5. It is an independent project where I take what I have learned in the past 4 courses and apply it in a unit.

Flexibility or whatever

In real life, I’m not super flexible. If I work at stretching everyday, I can lengthen my muscles but only to a point. If I keep stretching, I can maintain my gains but that’s it. No more lengthening.

Just like in real life; I can lengthen, shorten, change my lesson plans and teaching methods to adapt to switching from virtual to on campus learning for weeks at a time. But only to a point. At one point, no matter what I do, I can only maintain and it feels like there’s no gain. I just want to get through the lesson and try my best to adapt it to virtual learning.

 

Flexibility: No Problem?

Photo by Pavel Kalenik on Unsplash

This is especially true in science lessons. Where some of my colleagues that teach different subjects can quickly adapt their lesson to virtual, to on campus, and back to virtual again, it has been a challenge for me. Most of the time, there is less than 24 hours to adapt a lesson to virtual learning. During one on campus science class, students were doing their own inquiry investigations about thermal energy and the next day, they were learning from home.

I have been given some ideas for students to do easy experiments at home but as a teacher, I’m not comfortable with setting up grade six students to do an experiment at home where I don’t know if they are supervised or if they have the materials.

Even if I don’t feel particularly flexible, it doesn’t matter. Classes will take place and learning will happen. I feel that it is what it is, life goes on. In other words, whatever.

It is what it is. I feel like the person on the right. Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash

I’ve read that the battle cry of Generation X is ‘whatever’. Being labeled as part Gen X and part Millennial, I can relate to this battlecry.

Why whatever? Well, it is what it is. This generation has lived through parents and other adults (the Boomers) decrying and cancelling Simpsons, Murphy Brown, comic books, death metal, and Dungeons and Dragons.

Generation Xers Have The Most Gen X Response To Being Left Off The List. HuffPost 1/21/2019 

 

To cancel or not to cancel: This is on my mind because I had to cancel my Course 5 unit plan that I made in Course 4. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry…

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang aft agley..

– To a Mouse by Robert Burns

So I say whatever, it is what it is.

There were a couple of different reasons why I had to cancel: a bunch of new students were welcomed to grade 6 and my grade level team wanted to start integrating similar skills across the grade level during quarter 4. I guess the start of school quarters are the arbitrary time when units have to begin? I can’t finish the planned unit before quarter 4 begins. Also, the new students don’t have the background knowledge to finish a unit that was started at the beginning of the year (there were inquiry questions that took us on connected tangents so the plan was to go back to the original essential question).

I will move on to the new unit, living things, and see how I can relate it to the ISTE’s student standards. I’ll be flexible or….whatever.

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