“So, what’s all the hype about Baby George?” I wondered as I left GEDI training (aka Contemporary Pedagogy) on Wednesday night. Our professor had sounded so disappointed that we couldn’t watch a TED talk titled “What Baby George Taught Me About Learning.” Intrigued, I watched it after I got home from class:
I really enjoyed this TED talk, especially when he highlights how we should see the different strengths that students have. He points out that we often hear people saying “well, some kids just aren’t cut out for school,” and yet what that basically means is “well, some kids just aren’t cut out for learning.” Isn’t that a bit of a ridiculous claim? Everyone can learn, but not everyone learns in the same way.
During my own experiences in teaching, I have often wondered how to reach a large class of students with a wide variety of learning styles, concerns, challenges at home, and goals for life. I desperately want to inspire and mentor students through their educational experiences, but how am I supposed to do that when I am given a room full of strangers to get to know in just a few weeks? How am I supposed to do that within current academic restrictions (e.g. grades, strict policies, departmental cultures)?
I hope that during this semester I will be able to find creative ways to meet the challenges of teaching in university settings. Perhaps I will even learn how to better use technology in the classroom and Networked Learning to improve the educational atmosphere of my future classrooms.
No matter how far-out or inventive or mundane the solutions I come up with during this semester, I hope to remember this phrase from the Baby George video: our educational journey is less about learning “how to make a living” and more about learning “how to build a life worth living.”