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Posted by Bill Bass on Feb 6, 2019
Part Two of Two
TRY LANGUAGE! Live
I remember when I first heard the phrase “reflective practitioner” as it related to my work as a teacher. I don’t remember exactly where I was or which one of the many models of reflective practice were being discussed. Truly, I don’t remember the speaker. What I do remember was the connection and feeling I had when I heard it. At that moment, as a young educator, I saw myself differently. It wasn’t that I was changing what I was doing in my classroom, it just gave me the language to understand what it was that I was doing; constantly considering what worked and what didn’t and continuously thinking about which kids I reached and what I was going to do about those I didn’t.
As I look back on that moment, I also recognized that for me to continue to reach ALL of my students, I was really going to have to consider how to engage them in work that was meaningful to them, not just me. Thus, began my quest for authentic learning experiences in the classroom and giving students choice.
In today’s world, digital content is quickly and easily accessible and can be found on devices many of us carry with us wherever we go. However, that reading isn’t what we, as educators, often see as “real reading,” yet this type of reading is authentic to the world we live in. It’s part of our everyday lives and, if we are being honest, it’s also a skill we should probably spend some time honing. We skim, we watch, we interact, but that may seem superficial because we don’t go very deep. Could that be an opportunity? I tend to think so.
There is no singular right way to bring authentic reading experiences into the classroom, however, I would offer some starting points:
There are multiple ways to bring authentic reading experiences into the classroom and this is certainly not an exhaustive list. But it remains as important today as it did years ago that we remain reflective practitioners and respond to the changes in technology and digital content as well as the trends of our society. Being literate in the digital age requires us to reflect and respond based on the needs of our students and take into account their realities.
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