Since as early as I can remember I have always enjoyed travelling and learning about new cultures. I was fortunate to have a father in the military and this allowed my family to do much travelling throughout Europe. I still enjoy travelling today but know that there are many corners of the world that I have yet to explore.
My first love became Paris, France and with our adventures there came the desire to speak French. Before being all fenced off, my father and I touched the flagpole at the top of the Eiffel Tower many years ago. Eventually, I studied French and subsequently put my linguistic skills to work when travelling abroad. My children have known for years that I speak French but seemed to be "astonished" when they actually saw me "in action" (as they put it).
I have seen many "curriculums" come to pass over the years of teaching secondary students but the basics are the same - teach children to speak a foreign language. Teach them to love learning and they will love to learn your subject also. After working in two "traditional model" schools I took on a new adventure where I still am today. In the early 1990s a new school all about 21st Century learning opened in my community. It was to be the first one in western Canada like this and is still only one of 8 across the country. It is built on the model of self-directed learning where students can work ahead in their studies or spend more time on an area as they desire or as is needed for them to master the concepts of our subject areas. I can individualize my students' instructional program as needed to fit them. It is in essence an IEP (Individualized Education Plan)for each student in many respects. All students come with different backgrounds and so students who are very strong in an area need not do all of the work but move ahead when they are already proficient in an area. Students are also allowed to "build" much of their own timetables to allow them to work in a subject area where they may need more time. - Perhaps it is French or perhaps it is Math. - as an example.
I am continually learning in my teaching position at my school. Each day is like me being a sponge. I take in new ideas, new approaches and learn new skills. A couple of years ago I decided that I wanted to have a refresher in my "Education education" and so did my post graduate studies in "21st Century Learning in the Classroom". I learned much about myself and also learned that the path we are taking at my school continues to be a correct one. I cherish the fact that I am permitted to step out of my comfort zone and try new ideas and practices. In fact, it is encouraged. With that I have taken on more new challenges.
One of my new challenges was to join Teachers pay Teachers and to start my store "mrslryan". The support given to me by the many amazing educators via the forums there has been amazing! My growth continues....Many thanks to all.
Lorraine - Why teach? - for the love of learning