Can it really be the end of the second course already in my DLL journey? I reflect on what I have experienced so far and sometimes it is just a blur. Then I really reflect by writing a blog post on here and realize what the beginning of this journey has meant to me so far. It has given me direction in my classroom and the guts to try new things with my students (like introducing the growth mindset). I know that I have a long way to go before I can say that my classroom is a COVA model, but I know I am going to try anything and everything I can. I think that in the back of my mind, I was going to just flip a switch and implement COVA in my classroom with no issues. Then reality sets in and I wonder if I can pull it off. This quote really got my attention though and helped me understand what is happening,
“The DLL program shows you where to look, but does not tell you what to see.” – Brandi Collins (Harapunik, Thibodeaux, Collins, 2018)
I would say that this program has really opened my mind and given me the stability I needed to make wholesale changes to my classroom environment. The growth mindset has helped a few of my students already that normally would be so quick to just give up. One of my students stated, “I pretty much give up most of the time, Mr. Mischnick.” And I was quick to remind him that I would be there to help him to stretch his brain and keep trying no matter what. It is these moments that have already made this program a difference maker. I have always been aware of how difficult it is to get many of my students to care about their own learning; I know now that I must “help the learner take responsibility for that ownership” (Harapunik, Thibodeaux, Collins, 2018). Another important fact that I did not really understand before is looking at the learner individually to “consider what character, ability, or skill they need to develop to meet the challenge of the authentic learning opportunity (Harapunik, Thibodeaux, Collins, 2018). I always knew my students were all different, but I don’t think I truly thought about that when trying to help them.
My students have been using digital portfolios for a couple of years, and I know that they still they do not understand what it means to use their own ‘voice’ when blogging or showing off their creations in those portfolios. I have not been a good guide in that process either. I know that I need to help my students reflect more often and with more quality in order to find their true ‘authentic voice’ (Harapunik, Thibodeaux, Collins, 2018). The traditional educational system that I teach in has really warped what I believe my students are doing in my classroom. I have been a big part of their continued process of making them give me what I want to show their learning. This has hindered so many of my students, and I continue to reflect on ways to change that this school year.
As I finish up my reflection on the beginning of my journey and continue to wrap my brain around the COVA model in my classroom; I now understand how much I have benefitted from all of the collaboration so far. I would not be in this frame of mind without the discussions that I continue to have with my classmates. This is just the start, but I know that the future is going to bring more brain stretching as I continue to reach for the best of myself every day.
Harapnuik, D., Thibodeaux, T., & Cummings, C. (2018). Choice, Ownership, and Voice through Authentic Learning. Retrieved from https://gallery.mailchimp.com/1bdbac4d4fbdff334a642eb11/files/8b18ae2a-8696-4d58-9b80-192f4cc6624c/COVA_eBook_Jan_2018.02.pdf