This morning I came across a graphic created by Sylvia Duckworth that was created from a blog post written by Eric Shenigner. It caught me eye because I'm concerned about what I will remember as I grow older. I also wonder what the students will remember as they complete this course and move out into their final placement before they graduate. This graphic is a visual reminder of the importance of the challenging tasks and hard work. As students in this course complete their digital story productions, they can enjoy the celebration and personal satisfaction of creating something unique and meaningful. Their work over the past several weeks would fall into that top category and hopefully they'll remember 90% of what they have created for this course. Writing and producing a digital story is a complex task. Learning to teach is a complex task. Each involves creating something unique that is shared with others. It's a process and a product where reflection is a critical element to ensure improvement. Successful completion of both can leave you feeling euphoric. We will remember this!
I recently wrote a blog post on my professional blog about the five things I know for sure. It was a reflection on the raging dialogue about a dress that engaged people all over the world. I reflected in the middle of current issues of perspective and how they can shape our view of the world. Then I moved to a reflection of the five things I know for sure, since this was a challenge presented by another teacher in my PLN. I wrote that I know for sure that learning is messy, stories can teach, ideas bounce, variety is the spice of life, and that snow always melts. These things I know for sure are a matter of perspective.
Just as snow always melts, all courses come to an end. Just as snow can be challenging to cope with, so to is the closure that comes from completing difficult work. Courses often end with a culminating task or a performance piece, an exam or a final reflection. These bring closure to the ending. Just as snow melts away, so to do the ideas and concepts that were a primary focus for so many weeks. As I reflect on the final tasks of reflection, I understand the need to bring clarity to the process of closing and ending the work and learning. It's part of the process learners need to go through to make the most of knowledge building experiences. Reflection in, on, of actions is essential for deeper learning.