Joan Sweeney


Posted Jan 25, 2015


1. Effective Teaching is:


Keeping me in the learning seat alongside the students.  Many years ago, I was not a strong student and if you had asked me, I would have always referred to myself as 'not lucky enough' to get high marks.  Coming to learning and education later in life, I celebrate today the learning insights that continue to challenge the previous models of education.   Mistakes are signs that I am missing something important and that it is not because I am stupid or not intelligent.  This is the best gift I can give my students - helping them to see mistakes as an opportunity to change their strategy to learn, or perhaps their motivation.  Perseverance to 'get' a concept is what is needed and in this area, I see a great deal of weakness with my core students.  This is REALLY hard when you were shaped by a different mentality and the resistance to this principal of mistake making today is still very strong.



2. The best teaching experience I have had:


When my class connected with a colleague in Oaxaca, Mexico over the last three years and this has been some of the richest and most interesting work in my 15 years.  I was fortunate to go to Oaxaca for one week to visit the school and experience classes and learning in the heart of Mexico.  This began a lasting learning relationship between our two schools with many letters, emails, shared google doc assignments, and live Google Hangouts where we discuss many different topics about life in Mexico and Canada.


My students this year are preparing to welcome for the second time a group of students travelling here to Canada and which continues the online learning we have done about each other's history, culture, dance, language and community.  We are also involved in this amazing global project called Adobe Youth Voices that provides so many resources and opportunities to share and connect with students from around the globe. (For more resources - see the link below... it is all FREE!)


Adobe Youth Voices


Here is the video we produced (and won an award for) in 2013.  Students made this together during their visit and co-planned and filmed it. (Students signed Global release permission forms so that there are no privacy violations).


3. The worst teaching moments.... are when the students and I are not listening to each other.


To read the entire thread, join TeachOntario and click here.