The program I went through to become a teacher was big on metacognition and teaching us to think about our thinking so we could in turn teach our students the same concept. Now that I am in the DLL program, I am once again brought back to this theory. The key difference is there is a tangible way to connect to my thinking now through my eportfolio. Helen Barrett (2005) referred to reflection and pointed to research showing how reflection can help move learning into the long-term memory. The blog in our eportfolio is the perfect place to reflect on learning and serves as a way to look at our growth over time. As I continue to add posts, I am becoming more comfortable with the process. I see this aspect of the eportfolio as a way to look back on what I have done and tweak and make changes moving forward.
The growth mindset has been a game changer for me as a graduate student. Being able to identify my own fixed mindset helped me get out of a negative cycle of "I can't do this." to one of "I can't do this yet.". The Digital Learning and Leading program at Lamar University is very different from anything I've ever done and I have learned that keeping an open mind and being willing to get out of my comfort zone have been key to being successful. I have had those negative thoughts of the fixed mindset on more than one occasion, but now I can identify them and replace them with a plan to change. I am learning to use criticism to my advantage to help me change and grow as a student. I think that experiencing the growth mindset will help me grow in my work as a graduate student and that the positive impact will also carry over into my teaching.
Being a teacher is a tough job. We are pulled in multiple directions and have more piled on our plates now than ever before. The silver lining of this work is that we're not alone. I have been reaching out to the teachers I work with for years, but I have also started looking to connect with other educators online. These connections have had a huge impact on how I teach especially since the pandemic began. I teach virtual and in person classes and have made connections to help me teach online, and I'm starting to make connections in digital learning for my master's degree.
The EDLD program at Lamar University has been so different from any other learning experience I've had so far. It has been an adjustment for me going from a structured set of standards and projects to a more fluid model where I have a lot more say in what I produce. Being on this end of the learning has been eye opening for me. I have come to realize first hand just how important it is to have a voice in the work I produce and how it helps drive me to create better quality work since it is for me and I will be using it professionally. I am also gaining an understanding of how I learn within this program. In the beginning I was worried about self-paced study, but it has actually been a really good experience. I want to help my students by using what I've learned here in my own classroom.
This blog includes posts about education and digital learning and I will update frequently so check back often for new posts!