How do you know that you have a deep understanding of something? Do you talk about it confidence? With passion? Without reservation? Is it something you could talk about with anyone, at anytime?
Our time with Tom, Jamie and Pat was initially quite confronting. I felt like I was under the spot light, under a microscope. I tried to listen carefully, to stay in the moment, to be mindful but I found myself thinking ahead, trying to anticipate the questions that may come my way. I scanned the 'board game' in front on me for clues. I needed to prepare. Was our time together going to play out like a game of 'Jumanji'?
No. There were no lions, no carnivorous plants and no wild rhinoceroses.
As we began to discuss pedagogical knowledge and content knowledge, I started thinking about my own knowledge of the curriculum. Do I have a deep understanding of the outcomes? How do I go about developing my understanding of the curriculum before I begin assessing, planning and teaching? How many teachers out there are guilty of just cutting and pasting outcomes into a program without really understanding what they are asking of us, of our students? Is this the reason why our students don't quite understand a concept that we have spent time tirelessly teaching?
Our focus was on Outcome EN1-2A: A student plans, composes and reviews a small range of simple texts for a variety of purposes on familiar topics for known readers and viewers. We followed the same steps as other grades by breaking down the outcome into terms and discussing our understanding of those terms. This process was a great opportunity to identify any aspects of the outcome that we were unsure of or needed further clarification on. It lead further to a discussion of how we can develop the students understanding of these terms too.
This process showed me a way to move forward from now on. Before I assess, before I plan, before I teach - I will reflect, I will go deep, deep enough to feel confident, deep enough so that my students too will understand, deep enough so that if any lions or wild rhinoceroses should come my way, learning will still take place.