Moritz's Blog

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mission Accomplished

The 21C Collaborative Learning Community exists to model continuous learning and to encourage innovative use of technology by using constructivist teaching techniques.
Sounds pretty good.
It is amazing what can be accomplished when you take a large group of teachers, a whole lot of sticky notes, a laptop and a computer program, and combine them all together.
Facilitating the discussion on mission was so much easier than I anticipated. Truly, it was scary. Getting up in front of colleagues is always more difficult than teaching for me, but everyone seemed appreciative of the work that I did and the time that I spent. I think it was a matter of being organized and planning for opposition, which I didn't really experience (the opposition, I mean). Hopefully we can move full steam ahead and focus on vision, learnings and goals.

Monday, September 17, 2007

As I anticipate the discussion in which I have volunteered to lead next week, regarding mission and vision, I am apprehensive and hopeful at the same time. It is a challenge that I look forward to.

Bringing together 48 teachers to decide what we stand for is important to truly define what our 21C group is all about. But after looking at the four pages of notes that have accumulated between the three mini-groups that make up our large group, I can’t help but feel like there is a large mountain that we need to climb in order to tame this monster.

By default, we as teachers, are passionate about our work. We want to be sure that we get our points made and that everyone embraces them as passionately as we do. But when we write a mission statement, a statement that should be two sentences at the most, how am I…how are we…going to be able to agree on what is the most important. How am I…we…going to ensure that every voice is heard and supported? How am I going to take the “I” out of the equation for the greater good?

I can write our mission statement. I can write our vision statement. But what I write will not be what Terry would write, or what Andrea would write, or what James would write.

I guess I am saying is we will really need to work together and be willing to compromise in order to form a mission statement that is broad enough that everyone feels validated. Everyone feels comfortable with our decision. Everyone supports and believes in our mission. Otherwise it is just another sentence.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Well, to be quite honest, I feel like the beginning of the year has gotten away from me. Missing the first 21C meeting has made me feel, well, lost. I haven't blogged (obviously), and it seems as though I am wrapped up in so many other things. I am glad Link Crew activities have started to settle down and it will be nice to get back to the swing of things.

Having a laptop classroom for my electives has been incredible. Yesterday was the first day that we got to use the laptops and when the students all opened them up and started working, I had a moment of awe. How transforming it is to have those technologies available in the classroom. I was very excited, to say the least. Many of my students had experienced a laptop classroom, so they weren't nearly as enamored as I was; however, those students who had never been in a laptop classroom seemed just as excited as I was.

I'll admit, I have had moments of paranoia. I have questioned (just ask Karl) just about everything. I have worried about things I have no control over. I have started fires (just little sparks). But so far, every thing is going well. Students, as well as myself, are getting quite comfortable with those little laptops and the amazing thing...they are actually writing far. We'll see.