What an experience! One of the most important things I have learned from my experience is to be prepared for anything. The night before my implementation I had to revamp, revise my whole lesson. I credit the knowledge and “know-how” I have obtained via Kenan Fellow workshops and peer communications for my preparedness and ability to adapt without “freaking-out” completely. The essential part of my lesson was unavailable (peak flow meters) and we did not find out about this unavailability until the afternoon before. My mentor was a great support and was willing to stay up with me as long as it took to ensure I was ready. Learning how to utilize a variety of tools for instruction and student demonstration proved to be a very valuable part of my learning.
On a larger scale, I would love to see the idea of my product used throughout many classrooms. Many students miss school due to asthma attacks and the lack of knowledge of how to monitor their asthma. The inclusion of my product will help students to make that connection between math and something that directly or indirectly affects them. Students will be able to REASON the math associated with the monitoring of asthma.
The moment a couple of my students experienced was an “Ah-Ha” moment. This stands out to me because as teachers, we are always looking for that moment (especially a struggling student) when a child makes a connection with what they are learning. You are happy to see that the student understands. Last year many of my students struggled to understand mean, median and mode, but most of my students were able to grasp it a lot quicker. I give the credit for this to the Kenan Fellows leadership and introduction to a new way of instructing.
During the presentation of my product, one of my students cried out, “I get it now”. They had such a big smile on their face. Not only was the student making the connection with math and the meter readings but they were also able to make connection and understand why the doctor asks them the same questions or why they have to do the same tests over and over again. Another student was able to understand the meaning of which measure of center is best for a given scenario.
This fellowship has changed me in so many ways. One of the first ways is the way I view community members coming in to work with students. i can see how much of an affect community members can have on students. I am able to implement collaborative group work more effectively and with more assurance. I was not the biggest fan of “group” work.
Among my peers, I am more of an influential leader. Everyone knows that I will share what I know and am willing to help in any way that I can. The fellowship has opened doors for me that I would have otherwise seen as closed. I like the fact that I am able to put a teacher in contact with someone who may be able to work with them or help them out. The connections I have made with other members is priceless. Sharing class experiences, bouncing ideas off of one another, and problem solving together is something you don’t let go. In this sense, the fellowship has encouraged us to reach out to others.
As far as talents and careers, I love to explore new ideas. There is much that I did not know about that I am familiar with now. i am still learning everyday how to incorporate new ideas and instructional strategies within the classroom. Students are able to make a connection with the content to a life career. I will never forget this experience because it has helped me to grow into a better teacher. It has helped me to understand learning and the many ways it can take place.