Sometimes you go to conferences or PD and although you have learned something new it has not changed your life (as a teacher), and sometimes you do that has got nothing to do with school and you realise that what you are doing should be part of your weekly PD.
I explain what I mean.
As you know it is always easy to tell people what to do and how to do it well, but it is another story to actually tell people and do it yourself. I keep hearing messages from people who tell me how to teach but I don’t see anything in action. And then I learn Jiu Jitsu and I learn not only the movements which could give me another coloured belt but also I learn how to be a better teacher.
As you know last week was my second lesson of Jiu Jitsu. The fact that I went back after my first lesson already shows that I am enjoying myself as it is a very late class. Because I was complaining (surprise !!!!) that I could not do a particular movement- maybe because I am vertically challenged- the teacher told me that he would love to have a video camera and film me, so in 2 months time I will be able to see how much progress I have made. While I was struggling to get out of a strangle, I was thinking that this guy (call me how you want; a facilitator, a teacher, an instructor, a master!!!) had understood the power of a portfolio (with an E or no E). Because I go to a community class, the teacher has a paying job during the day (he is actually a farmer). Although teaching is not his job, he has more understanding of learning than a lot of teachers !!
My learning did not stop there !! For the next activities, the teacher paired us up and asked us to work on our moves by ourselves. First we were put with someone more experienced and then when we were put into groups of same ability. It was very interesting to see that while we were struggling (the other guy I was working with is a beginner as well) the teacher kept an eye on us and could stop us every now and then and show us how to improve.
OMG !!!! This is constructivism in action !!!! I do not need to go to another PD, I only need to go to my Jiu Jitsu class on Monday nights.
Image source: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4045/5078518795_3e4ddfe587.jpg