Make teaching (feel) easy

2020 was a year of prototyping and adapting education all over the world. It might seem contradictory in such a context to talk about how can teaching feel easy. My guest for this article is Jenni Sipola, class teacher I have known for 4 years and she is one of the main sources for observing how “ teaching can feel easy”, in this article & interview I invite you to apply on your own my decoding process of feeling easy. You can look at this interview setting subtitles in your own language .

Interview with Jenni sipola, december 2020

Do new things you like

Do new things you like, access free resources for teachers, learn something new you are passionate about & that you can use in the class as well. You might consider blogging ( I have written an article about blogging as learnin) but you can use blogging for resourcing ( and community learning). You can find similar platforms for your own country & in your own language. When to use them? use them especially when you feel overwhelmed by the work/change/information. Just pick one resource and apply it. When it is too much, simply DO THE BEST NEXT THING. 

Use ready made tools& lessons

Find & use tools that already have embedded ready-made lessons so you work less. Make your work as little redundant as possible. When you do this, you have time to reflect on how to facilitate the learning to students, you also feel at ease as it feels you are not working alone. Here is one example or embeded and learning for 21st century learning ( & sharing): you choose to use LORU GAME you can include QUIZLET questions for the subject you teach, you don’t have to design your questions. “I am lazy” means also to find the best outcome with less effort which actually work for your efficiency & creativity. Another example is: let google classroom make the work for you- with self-corrected tests, with grades & assessments. Here are more examples of ready-made lessons ( you can find platforms in your own language).

Take care of joy of the students

April 2020, visiting Tallinn Pelgulinna school, the primary class for drone programing & in school 21 we visited one year before the ” gamification” lab where students with teacher would meet to play games

Take care of joy of the students- one way is the use of gamification & robotics, simple reason, and best one of all? Students can help you, they become your assistants and while doing this you will teach them jobs & life skills. How to choose which games or robotics/coding to use in order for the gamification not to be too much of a distraction and actually foster the positive impact (motivation, teamwork, caring)? Simple way is first look at the possible resistance or made up mind we might have about gamification and just pick some literature investigating gamification& learning, here is one suggestion. ( I heard many teachers doing a lot of self hard work this year saying ” I was the person rejecting technology all these years for different reasons and look at me know”). Second, choose games you( and then your class, your community) can be passionate about: healthy economy, sustainable decision making, sustainable city development, the earth, save animals and other causes. Here is one place you can start and find the game for your play for the planet cause. I personally use quandary game for sustainable decision making and self leadership as 21st century competences developed by MIT Center for Ethical Leadership.

Back to nature

Jenni Sipola class teacher & her 5th graders in Lapland trip this september, they have been preparing in their club lessons for this trip since 1st grade

Digitalization, game-based learning go hand in hand with nature, make a place for your teaching to build nature skills, for example, first-year teaching students to put a tent, second-year how to stay overnight in nature so 3rd yeard you can all “survive” in nature one week. What is important is systematic learning & preparation for staying in nature ( one lesson every week), rather the output itself. Use phenomenon-based   learning to invite students to go back to nature.

Teachers’ journaling

I invite you to spend some time on your journaling and learning and I invite you to look at this year and acknowledge your essential moments.

Take a piece of paper or your agenda and answer these questions for yourself: 1. Going back to March what has happened to your teaching you might have considered a crazy idea but actually, it proved to work; 2. Just allow the time to pass and notice since March-April till December 2020 what moments you can collect for yourself & your work as maybe cornerstones? 3. Allow yourself a moment of celebration and complete your declaration: This year I have……and it helped me alot & the community I serve with my work.

 

“we cannot build on success we did not acknowledge”.

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