Below are some thoughts and highlighted quotes from Ch.8, 9 and 18.
"any attempt to work with diversity begins with accurately gauging its presence so we know what we're dealing with." p.99 - Ch.8 The book suggest using an instrument to help gauge this such as the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Inventory. This is something I think I might bring into the program if it is not already being done. I have recently done this as well to see where I fit in with the rest of my peers. It does not take long and it is very interesting and I highly recommend it. Myers-Briggs
I found chapter 8 had some interesting comments regarding team teaching and the benefits for a diverse classroom. I have taught as a team that was very successful and collaborative and also the other way. Still successful but not as cohesive with the planning. I think the most important thing to think about when team teaching is that someone else' s style might not suit yours but it might suit the students. Don't let ego get in the way!
"Nothing draws popped more quickly into considering challenging information and perspectives than a personal story...." p.116 - Ch.9
In class I have told personal stories about situations and I feel this is what adds to the authenticity of the instruction and allows the students to realize that I have experienced situations just like them. Often the stories are of difficult cases or embracing moments and I feel this allows the students to open up more if I share my experiences. My goal is to indicate that it is ok to make mistakes, own up to them and grow from them. It is all part of the learning ! This is also a chance for me to bring the MAGIC! as per a previous post.
"I never agree to be a mentors unless I'm asked by the mentee."
"Any mentoring conversation begins with them telling me about their dreams, agendas, and goals, and how they feel I can be of help." p.117 - Ch.9
This quote has been very handy as of late as our program has just recently added a capstone project that requires a mentor. I have been asked by 2 of the students to mentor their project and have followed the above advice. I always want them to be happy with their project and find meaning with it and it is my job to listen and to help them sort out their thoughts with questions so they can find their own path. So far I have enjoyed being a mentor and find the students are appreciated of the one on one conversations.
How to become a great mentor
The following quote is about power.... " I started to acknowledge that they were not my friends who, by accident, found themselves in the room with me." p.240 - Ch.18
This is something I struggle with every term. I must keep reminding myself as relationships become closer that I hold some power in the relationship and must respect that.
.." we believe that the learning we are promoting is inherently valuable or socially beneficial." p. 241 - Ch. 18
A valid reason to insert power and making sure certain activities are done even though some students may not be interested.
"Learners power can also stop teachers dead in their tracks when they simply refuse to ask, or to answer, questions." p. 241 - Ch.18
Learner have great power whether they know it or not. What do you do when this happens?
I found this paragraph regarding not liking teaching with an open door very interesting on page 248 Ch.18. " I don't like the idea that a chair or a dean can hover at the door, surreptitiously checking up on me. I want the freedom to experiment, to risk failure, and to have a degree of unpredictability. To get those things I need to have the door closed."
I do not like having the door open when I teach. I think partially I want privacy and don't want to be judged without knowing . Part of it I do feel comes down to confidence though but I agree with the above statement. I had never looked at it like this, I just had felt uncomfortable with the door open.
When students are allowed to determine the direction of learning ....."they will usually chose circular directions and learning activities that are familiar and comfortable." p. 249 - Ch. 18
I do believe this to be true because I do the same thing. I think sometimes it is just survival as well because it takes a lot of energy to go out of you comfort level. I do recognize that it is a good thing to help students try something new so they can look at something from a different perspective but I also do not want them to be put into a high anxiety level and out of the "flow". Maybe the solution to this problem is to have 2 activities/assignments - one can be familiar and one must be new.
Again any thoughts or comments are appreciated!
Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The skillful teacher: on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. Jossey-Bass.