Creating Significant Learning Environments
My goals reflect a desire to create a significant learning environment in which my students want to engage in learning in a meaningful way. Every goal is set with the intention of observing a deeper need in my students’ unique backgrounds and personal interests. A personalized learning environment is not to be interchangeably confused with differentiated or individualized as clarified by Barbara Bray. Personalizing the learning for our students adds a layer of ownership in which they develop into their own teacher and learn how to learn. This in turn develops their self efficacy, grit, and resilience. Education is the path to discovery and setting our students free. Their job is to learn how to learn in a world of uncertainty, therefore it is imperative that education serves the very people who have hired us to get their job accomplished.
- Create an authentic learning environment in which learners are given choice, ownership, and voice in showcasing their competency and growth through a blended learning environment.
- Lesson planning will shift into the Backward Design model in which whole units are planned with the learning goal in mind that also addresses the TEKS readiness standards.
- Teachers and staff will provide a blend of face-to-face and online learning opportunities through a Flex Station Rotation model to meet students where they are. The Flex Station Rotation model will provide multi-grade levels to engage within a holistic learning environment that supports each student’s unique needs.
- The role of technology within the classroom will be to personalize students’ authentic learning opportunities to discover and take ownership of their learning.
Blended learning is defined as the engine that can power personalized and competency-based learning. It provides a simple way for students to take different paths toward a common destination. It can grant freedom for teachers to become learning designers, mentors, facilitators, tutors, evaluators, and counselors to reach each student in ways never before possible (Horn, M. & Baker, H. 2015). Starting on May 1, 2019, I have been asked to assume the role of teaching grades Kindergarten through 5th. Due to the uncertain nature of Kozmetsky Charter School’s emergency enrollment, a new system in how our school addresses these uncertainties is needed. We need clear expectations that align UT Charter School System and SAFE Alliance to provide unwavering stability in our classrooms. I propose that a personalized and blended learning environment be implemented through Project-based Learning. PBL provides the setting to solve real world issues that serve our students’ social, emotional, and academic growth. Teachers and staff would be able to meet each learner’s needs no matter the grade level or subject when given the freedom and structure that comes with a Project-based learning environment.
Bray, B. & McClaskey, K. (2013). Personalization vs. differentiation vs. individualization chart (v3). Retrieved from: http://barbarabray.net/2014/01/22/personalization-vs-differentiation-vs-individualization-chart-v3/
Horn, M. B. & Staker, H. (2015). Blended: using disruptive innovation to improve schools. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.