Articles, Blog

Cisco ISD: Year 1 Raising Blended Learners Highlights

We resist mediocrity and we want to show
others schools how to do the same thing. We want to be able to go out there to make
a difference, to challenge ourselves challenge our students, and then go
challenge other communities just like us to say, it’s not enough. If our kids are
going to be successful and achieve in the long run we need higher we need more. This whole project is to give them that vehicle to do that, to really challenge
them to do better, to show them how to get there, to give them the encouragement,
and giving that time with the teachers to make sure they have every tool they
need to get there. So those are the ones I’m really good at, and these are the ones I need to look at more. Parents want more for their children. They realize we live in
the 21st century of technology. Old teaching methods do not cover 21st
century learning. It’s so easy to fall back on what we know, to fall back on the
accepted, and the norm, and that’s the teacher on stage, and the students sit
down and just give me feedback. Blended gives the teachers the ability to get
that one-on-one, to really interact with their students in the way that they
really desire to. It makes you feel like you’re the center of attention. We like that don’t we? Yes we do. I think the biggest change is actually
been within myself and finding my role in the classroom. As a teacher, my
character, my little baby comes up to me and needs help with this and I’m really
stuck on this problem, “Okay, sit down let me show you.” I mean that’s why I wanted to
be a teacher is to help these kids and let me show you. And I really had to do
some soul-searching and some digging to realize, I’m not helping you I’m hurting
you. I’m walking you through every little step. Now I’m kind of working on being
truly data-driven, not just from a pretest of sorting children into groups
but actually where do they really need. I knew they had holes and now I have proof
that they have holes. Those gaps are filling and that’s starting to be what’s
driving my high tier three kids because they’re realizing, “Whoa, that kid’s never
been close to me before, this isn’t cool.” Whatever preconceived notion you have
of the way it’s supposed to be just throw that out. Because it won’t be that way. It’s going to be trail and error, we are going to learn a lot of things. But I think ultimately that’s
where we were to get, where students can get that self-paced and they can to be
excited about it. Just be excited about school. We want the environment, the
teaching style to be new, refreshing. Look different, feel different. Yes, absolutely. Just outside the ordinary classroom. We can’t put ourselves in a box that is 100
years old, that’s sort of what goes on sometimes in rural America. So if we can
get out there and show other teachers how to do it, it’ll be a good thing. It’s growing on it’s own. I don’t think we’re gonna
have to force anybody to understand what we’re starting to understand. It’s a great thing. You’re going to look forward to it. Like my brother, I keep telling him you’ll love sixth grade.

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