• Danielle Raja

Week # 8: Reflection on Teaching 100

This class is coming to an end, and I feel I have learned so many valuable things! Below, I'd like to share a few thoughts on what I've learned over the last 6 weeks of class.

Obviously, I like to reflect on what I'm learning. This website has been a tremendously effective tool for me to think about and investigate further the concepts we have learned in class. This feeds right into where I fall in the Kolb Learning Style Inventory (assimilator). As I have decided to make this blog public, I have found a tremendous increase in my Extraneous Cognitive Load. (Worth it!) I have always found these types of personal evaluations to be fascinating and I plan to recognize these findings in my future as an educator.

Throughout this course, I've been forced to consider how my preferences for learning are not always the best way to approach teaching. Also, my students are not blank slates. They come with a wealth of experience, and this colors their perception of me as well as my own biases toward them. Recognizing and controlling bias is an important part of the job.

We talked about Chilly Classrooms and promoting Inclusivity. The Zone of Proximal Development taught me how to teach to my learners' level and build in enough scaffolding for them to be successful. The Degree of Desirable Difficulty made an appearance and reminded me that learning is hard! It's supposed to be! And that sweet spot at the DDD is where learning is most efficacious.

I learned the impact of emotion on learning. It reminded me that Abraham Maslow had something to say about basic needs before loftier goals. I was taught that educators can foster happiness in learners. People learn when they are happy and they get happier with positive reinforcement. Barbara Fredrickson's Broaden and Build Theory really resonated with me. I hope to use this in my own classroom.

Finally, I led you through my struggles with headaches and migraines. This has dramatically affected the way that I use Zoom and other technology (looking at you, Google Chromecast). From changing all my screen settings to the warmest tint and continuous night mode, to wearing blue blocking glasses 🤓, this has been an incredible journey. Amazing how a half-semester course has impacted my approach to teaching and learning. I am so grateful for all of it.

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