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Ashley Dawkins's picture


I like the idea of the open-ended learning process and have always preferred learning by doing, myself. I want to bring this in as a part of the way that I teach. I had such hopes and dreams for my first year of teaching. I wanted to do cool labs, go on trips, invite guest speakers...let's just say this didn't happen. I was told "no" or I felt overwhelmed from my first year of teaching and did not pursue these hopes and dreams. Also, there were restraints due to the shape of my classroom (I was extremely happy that I had a classroom as a first year teacher). My ideal classroom learning environment and experiences did not occur.

The very real truth was that I was teaching a very special group of children in an important subject matter. We have a very real curriculum that we were responsible for, for a very real high stakes test. We covered a section in a day or two and then had to move on. I knew they were not ready, my students told me they were not ready...but we moved on. I tried to stretch out concepts the longest I could before moving on. This environment was not conducive to opened-ended transactional learning.

With more practice I think that I could learn how to manipulate the time given to maximize it...but I was left feeling flustered.

*I would like to note that I did have tons of support and collaborated with my colleagues. I feel we did our best with what we had and I did my best based on my prior knowledge


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