Moving to Learn-Brookfield Chapter 10

I chose to read chapter 10 of Brookfield’s book the skillful teacher because it introduced a concept that I am honestly uncomfortable with. The idea of using imagination, play and creativity in the classroom is not my cup of tea. Now this is not to say that I am against any of these aspect, in fact in my personal life I engage in all of these activities frequently, yet I am terrified by trying to integrate them into the classroom. It may be because I am a shy and introverted person the idea of having to move around and socialize in a group of people who are unknown to me is terrifying. As a student I hated group work, I hated being asked to get up and move around the room, I hated having to talk in public or share my thinking with anyone other than the teacher. I have also had very negative experiences in my past with all of these activities so there is this visceral fear of engaging in these activities even to date. I also have a hard time integrating them into my classroom because of this fear and my empathetic wish to not make anyone else feel like I did when asked to participate in such activities. As I started reading this chapter immediately thought no, no way would any of these ideas work for me. They are silly, the students will think they are silly, they would be a waste of time. Then I realized that I am setting myself at a disadvantage. By being to starkly against doing any such activities I am not exploring all the methods of teaching, and I am doing a disservice to those students who are not like me. I have realized that because I have had negative experiences with this sort of activity, maybe I can use that to my benefit. I can use more creativity in my classroom, but in a way that doesn’t run the risk of having fellow introverts like me melt down. I loved Brookfield’s suggestion of posing a question and then saying each corner of the room corresponds to an answer. Have the student move to the corner of the room that they believe represents the correct answer to the question. Then have the students discuss in this group why they chose the answer they did. Once their discussion is complete they will elect someone from the group to discuss their reasoning to the class. This way the class can see different views and learn from one another as opposed to always having me answer their questions. It will also help me visually see where I need to be more clear in my explanation of specific course concepts. I think this would be a great place for me to start with this. It is a very safe and mild introduction into creativity in the classroom, but as I become more comfortable I will be able to take more risks and make my class a more diverse learning environment for all!

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