With over 20 years of teaching experience, I have learned through trial and error that being the "sage or the stage" leads to boredom, lessons that are too short or even worse too painfully long, and many times end in confusion and me repeating myself. When I began the practice of being a facilitator, I realized how much I love this job! Letting go of the reigns and realizing I couldn't possibly know everything was scary at first but soon became freeing. I will often say to students when they ask a question, "you tell me." Sometimes I know the answer, other times I do not, but over time I have learned this actually works. The students learn to access the resources I have taught them to use and by doing so, continuously have ah ha moments that make them feel so empowered.
Being a technology teacher who is responsible for teaching Animation and Web Design (3 applications and a 2 programming languages), Introduction to Programming (2 programming languages and robotics), Advanced Programming (yet another programming language) as well as 2 college level business courses and a financial literacy course, I have become a "jack of all trades and master of none." I had no choice but to let go of writing lessons and lectures with minuet detail. Instead I had to develop a game plan that focused on learning styles and higher-level thinking skills. The benefits for the students are that they are much more engaged, challenged, excited, resourceful, determined and cooperative. I feel like my classroom has become a safe place for students to fail. I love in one of the Unit 2 videos how they use the saying "not yet" rather than fail. I can honestly say that every day, every student learns something in my class because they were engaged and challenged. Letting go of the old school "sage on the stage" mentally has made what once felt like a "job" a true passion. I get to connect with every student, every day rather than stand before them spewing information.