Today I was involved in learning. Notice that I am referring to being involved in this process. I was not a passive participant. I was deliberately looking to learn and I wanted my learning to be permanent.
You see, there is very little that I remember from my learning in school or university. For example, I know that I learned trigonometry because I recall a grade of 87% on the test but I could not tell you the slightest thing about how to solve this type of problem today. I know this with certainty as I unsuccessfully attempted Grade 10 homework help just the other night!
This has me thinking: What did I truly learn? How do we know when true learning has happened?
The things that have endured the test of time – the things that I know I have learned – stand out as vivid images in my memory. Like the history class with our beloved Mr. Duffy who took us through World War 2 with first person narrative. After we saw the war through various sets of eyes, he challenged us to write our own fictional war narrative. I can remember my tears staining the paper as I wrote. This learning was permanent.
Today, the principals in the AMDSB came together to learn. Our director, Ted Doherty, challenged us to be “game changers” in education. If we want our students to learn permanently then there are some things that we can do differently. I am ready for this. I am excited about the possibilities! I dream of permanence! Weird, I know.
I asked my children tonight how they would define a game changer. To me, it is a Mr. Duffy. I was curious what this concept might mean to them. I had to laugh when my youngest son reminded us of “Wreck It Ralph”. I was not sure that this was a character I wanted to align with.
Ralph was tired of being a “bad guy”. The same old, same old wasn’t offering him any fulfillment. He longed for change and he sought it out. It turns out that “Wreck It Ralph” is a pretty solid model.
Tonight I am committed to becoming a game changer. Whether as a Mr. Duffy or a Wreck It Ralph, there is room to grow as educators who help students truly learn.