I remember it like it was a bad teaching dream. It was my first year teaching and my “system” for having students turn in work was simply to have them leave it on my desk. By the end of the day I had a cartoonishly large pile of papers on my desk with little pieces of paper “fringe” from poorly perforated notebook paper scatter around my desk. That “fringe” always reminded me of snow and this truly was the start of my long grading winter. It was a good day if I kept track of every paper and each grade made it to the grade book. In the midst of this proverbial warzone of papers, though, I usually didn’t make it out unscathed by the judging or tearful eyes of a student whose paper had gone missing.
Even though I felt like my system worked, it was actually terrible. I eventually learned that all of the upfront work of setting up systems and routines in my classroom paid off in the end. Most of this growth happened because I saw and learned from those around me. In a similar way, growing in my knowledge of blended learning has come through the knowledge and help of others. With that in mind, here are my top three words of wisdom for new blended learners:
Today's reflections come to us from Mr. Kris Heiderich. Kris is in his first year teaching English at Richmond High School. He has previously taught in Uganda, Africa and Indianapolis, Indiana while also spending three years as an Area Director for a non-profit ministry called Young Life. He is married to Karli, and is attempting to raise two humans who are named Teagan (3 years old) and Nolan (8 months old)