George Lucas Educational Foundation

Improving Student Learning

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As an professional educator, my mission is to engage students to learn new and innovative material in a 21st Century society. It is my responsibility as a professional to stay current with education, whether it be through the use of computers in the classroom to networking with students around the world. The simple shift--from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning--has profound implications for schools(DuFour, 2004). Our learners want innovative material and new ways to learn the material. The trend to progress in a manner that attracts the learners to be inspired to learn and to reach their goals is without bounds. As professionals, we must work collaboratively with our peer teachers, colleagues, and administrators. I am not in a regular school setting per se. I am, though a part of a local home school support group. We get together once a month as mothers in a group called Mother's Night Out. We meet at a local Denny's from 6-9 p.m. and discuss anything from co-op (group classes held for 10 weeks on Friday from 8-12 noon) to field trips and even to what we have to offer as physical activity through sports. We have a growing community of home schoolers, as well as lots of local support groups in the Rio Grande Valley. The one obstacle that I see in forming Professional Learning Communities within our home school local support is that we are collaborating with traditional teaching parents to parents that are 21st century professionals. The majority of us are professionals and prepared to move on towards this new and innovative trend, but others prefer the traditional way of teaching. The traditional way of teaching can be less expensive as well. One can hand down the textbooks that the older learners have already mastered. Computers, laptops, internet services and the likes, are very expensive. Therefore, as we parents collaborate, we have to be mindful of the varied types and style of educators. Educators involved with networks don’t just step out-side of their bureaucratic systems, they also step into a world of ideas and practice-focused discourse(Niesz, 2007). This change in trend seems to some of us as abrupt but in all reality, professionals have been noticing changes for the past 20+ years. As I begin my new school year, I am planning to shift from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning. I want my learners to be successful. I commit to making a difference in my learner's lives. I plan on building Professional Learning Communities with professional parents that I know are ready and willing to take their learners to a higher level of learning in a 21st century society.

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Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Engagement Manager

Hi Mary, welcome to the Edutopia. Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding your teaching practice.

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