Monday, February 21, 2011

Darren Kuropatwa

I was really impressed with the amount of both interesting and really practical information that Darren inundated us with!  I was especially impressed with how he put a lot of emphasis on community both in the classroom!  If you read this blog you know that I think community is HUGE not only in the classroom but also online.  We have to create positive, responsible communities!  Therefore much of what Darren said fit with me really well.  I was also really liked what he said about letting students admit their mistakes.  This is one of my goals as a teacher, students in the classroom are so paralyzed with fear about not getting good grades or ‘doing it right’ that they have no intention of doing something like…take a chance, think for themselves, or experiment.  That could cost them marks and who knows what the repercussions of that could be in the future!! (yes I know it’s hard to be dramatic with type…)  This has got to change – we need students to know that mistakes happen and more importantly – it’s all good when they do.
Darren also pushed a few theme lines that are really effective and important:
Create It – when students create things they learn much more efficiently than reading through a textbook!
Publish It – when something is created by students - put it online, make it visible to the world, make their creations matter and students will then take pride in what they do!
Watch It, Do It, Teach It – I was already aware that medicine used this philosophy and I think it is dead on!  If you teach someone something there is absolutely no doubt that you yourself had to know it first – you can’t teach what you don’t know!
Interestingly each of these three principles can be aided by using ICT in the classroom!  Creating projects, videos, pictures, slideshows, etc. is soooooo much easier with a computer.  Obviously publishing is quick and effective with the internet and its even easier for students to be able to watch, do and teach by using technology. 


  1. The emphasis on community is certainly an important part of any classroom. We need positive, comfortable, and safe communities. And an online community is no different. Helping your students create a positive online community can encourage their learning and their feeling of connectedness to the class and the course.

    Very important that within this community we let it be know that it is ok to make mistakes. It's how we learn. I think as the teacher we need to demonstrate this to the students, if we make a mistake, admit it, laugh about it, and demonstrate how we will learn from it. Modeling this can help students accept their own mistakes and learn from them.

  2. Sometimes it feels like I'm beating a dead horse with some of my comments, even so I'll also comment on the huge impact community plays on the classroom because I agree that it is extremely important.

    In one of my placements I was able to witness how strong, rewarding and protective this sense of community can be. There were a couple of students with exceptionalities that had a tendency to blurt comments out or take things that weren't theirs. Even so, the patience, understanding and care every student had and exhibited towards these students was incredible. They always reacted calmly and with compassion and care in their voices. They may have been frustrated, but they did not lash out. Many times there were issues, but most of the students solved their own problems diplomatically. The students weren't perfect, but they were definitely sensitized towards how others feel. It is a testament to the school for promoting these traits and making sure all students realize that everyone has feelings and that everyone belongs.

    We all have our own faults and our own strengths, appreciating those of others makes all of us better. Creating an atmosphere in which all students buy into this goal is a very important pursuit. I would say one of the most important in terms of classroom managment, but even loftier it is important to know in terms of life. "For always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself." - Desiderata