Past vs. Present

How do I know that I am making a difference in my student’s lives? This was a question that was a reply post on my bPortfolio and made me start to try and answer it. Some days I know that I am making a difference from the interactions that I have with my students, simply through the students exclaiming, “Oh, I get it!” Since teaching is an up and down battle, some days make me feel quite the opposite from my previous statement. However, the knowledge of a teacher’s positive effect in the classroom does not simply ride on daily interactions. We are coming up on the first quarter of school being finished and I can already see a big difference between my classes on the first day of school and where we stand today. The students have grown not only in their knowledge about technology, but also in critical thinking and social interaction with each other. There is a large amount of my students taking the technology projects and really putting their hearts into it. I not only see a change in many of my student’s attitudes, but also in the quality of their work. This comparison from the past to the present is very rewarding.

In both of my technology classes we started off the semester with students raising their hands every five seconds saying that they didn’t understand something that we were doing on the computer. Do I still have students who get lost sometimes? Yes, but I now have something that I did not have in the beginning: students who can problem solve for themselves and find the answer without giving up. This skill is crucial when using technology because there are honestly a lot of things that can go wrong. I have earnestly tried to teach my students this skill through instruction, practice and helpful reminders. It is truly exciting to see a student say that they have a technical problem, and by the time I get to answer their question the student replies, “I don’t have a problem anymore because I figured it out on my own.”

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