My Take on Contemporary Approaches to Learning

blogging-for-learning

The only way I wish I was like a computer is purely for memory storage. There are so many things I want to remember and so much information out there to absorb; I just can’t take it all in. Computers on the other hand computers have seemingly unlimited amounts of storage and it would be awesome to store all the information I’ve ever wanted. In terms of my ability to learn, I prefer to use my own abilities rather than a computer because I like the way I process and control my own mind. If I could simply upload all the information I need like a computer and use it the way I normally I know I could become a genius.

My first teacher, I can’t remember her name but she was a very nice lady, but not exactly a great teacher. She was friendly and fun, but I didn’t really learn much from her. The classroom was like most typical Elementary classrooms, colorful, posters everywhere, stuffed animals, but with a black board and chalk, not a smart board and computer. My most remote childhood memory was climbing trees with my friends and singing songs until the sun set. These memories only took a few seconds to retrieve, which suggests that long term memory is extremely organized.

The best strategy for me to memorize things is to first simplify what I’ve learned and then repeat it over and over again. I can’t just see something once or twice, I need to look at multiple times and then read and write it down over and over until it sticks in my mind. I’m a kinesthetic learner and I need to simply have time to practice learning on my own. Plus, I tend to work better when I’m under pressure, I can’t get started right away, it’s too stressful… I usually think about it, relax, and wait for a while. I don’t consider myself a complete “crammer” but I do wait longer than most. If I am not given clear instructions and a deadline, I simply forget about and don’t learn much, I don’t feel the pressure, so I lose interest.

After I cram I actually remember the majority of what I learned, because I don’t wait until the last second, I give myself enough time to still learn and absorb the material. After 3-5 days from taking an exam I will remember 80% of what I learned, but if I took an exam 5 years after I got an A on it, I could only get a C on it. Getting a C on a test, after not studying for it is actually quite good in my opinion because getting a C means someone has the basic idea of what they learned and after many years, if people can remember the basic, that’s enough. Granted, I admit I could change my learning goals to study for exams in such a way so I can use that information my entire life.

My learning strategies have only improved because I’ve forced myself to teach my students differently. The mistakes of my past teachers and the mistakes I’ve made personally have helped me realize what needs to be done to provide long lasting educational experiences for my students. In the past I was mostly concerned with getting a high grade, and less concerned with learning the material…but now as I’ve matured I pay closer attention to retaining what I learn as opposed to simply getting a high grade. My learning experiences are shaped now by what I learn, and not just what grade the teacher gives me. I still work very hard to get high marks, but not at the cost of just getting the mark. I want to get high marks and still remember and more importantly apply what I learned to my life.

I make sure my students don’t just do “busy work,” I give them meaningful assignments, group projects, and learning experiences in class to help them become critical thinkers, communicators, collaborators, and creative. I want them to be challenged in school, but in a fun, interesting, and exciting way. I collaborate with my colleagues to create alignment across the Elementary School to make sure all students receive a similar education. I teach my students the skills, and give them opportunities to practice them right away. I try my best to help my students figure out what interests them and provide numerous experiences for them to teach their classmates about class related material. As a teacher, I’m working very hard to help my school in ensuring our units and lessons are data-driven and with students’ needs in mind. I know that I need a lot of growing and learning myself for me to reach my fullest potential as an educator.

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