Of bus drivers and cartographers

cc 2012 Cesar Ojeda 007-América Meridional. Mapas generales. 1775-detalle

cc 2012 Cesar Ojeda 007-América Meridional. Mapas generales. 1775-detalle

coreOne of our first activities was to write down our core teaching values. I believe we were asked for three statements. This came fairly easily to me, and I imagine it was even easier for many of the others in the Praxis track. Being a librarian, I am very service-focused – it’s all about the students. Unfortunately, in my role I get very little time with them, if any, so I rarely get to know them, their goals and their needs. My second statement is something that drives a lot of what I try to do: We are all in charge of our own learning. I feel like I didn’t really figure that out until grad school, so I try to push students to get the message as early as possible. I think it paid off for the True Crimers. We had some of those students in subsequent classes, and they all took leadership roles. The feedback we got at the end of the course also indicated that they learned leadership and accountability. The third statement comes from my problematic relationship with assessment and instructional design. As teachers, often, we define outcomes and objectives, and we decide how they will be achieved and demonstrated. But our students may have different goals. They start at different points. I don’t want to be a bus driver, taking them from point A to point B. I’d rather be a cartographer, helping them figure out the lay of the land so they can find their way.

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