Becoming a Student (Again)

Thank the Lord for conferences like EARCOS. After spending so many days and weeks and months being “teacher” at school, I feel like it’s my turn to be the student. I realize this should be the case more often in my classroom. I need to model my learning as much as possible. That is why I have joined the CoETaIL program. Let the learning begin!

My first plan was to listen to my new teachers Jeff Utech and Kim Cofino and start creating my Professional Learning Network. Some groundwork was needed. I started by registering for RSS feeds in the Google Reader, going to almost (almost) all of the sessions, power lunching with colleagues and newly acquainted peers, drinking beers with these new friends and potential PLNers, and all the while trying to balance the benefit of being a father to my dearest and coolest kids who are here with me. It is a lot of work being a good EARCOS delegate. But good work.

Also, I squeaked in the first four chapters of Outreach during the workshop breaks. Like Jeff, I found writing and reading a chore during my educational career. I remember dreading those awful grade 3 book reports that Mrs. Bosell always assigned. Why couldn’t we just read for reading sake!? Unfortunately, it did not stop there though. By the time I was a junior in high school I was paying a couple classroom high flyers to write literature essays for me in Ms. Bach’s English class. Do not worry, Jeff and Kim, I promise not to pay anyone to do my CoETaIL work for me. Besides, I am too frugal to do that now–bills to pay.

I have come a long way. Now I teach middle school language arts. Go figure. Flowery prose and long winded rants probably won’t be spilling from this blog any time soon though. I generally take the Noam Chomsky approach to writing at the best of times. One of my favorite quotes of his says it all: “Bikes have wheels.” So short and sweet and hard to beat. That is why I am going to be diggin’ the Twitter thing. Limiting writing to 140 characters is perfect for a boy like me!

On the last morning of the conference as I was racing out the door my thoughtful fourth grade son, Maxim, asked how my conference was going. I stopped in my tracks and paused to reply. It was going really well I told him because I was the student again. Then he asked me if it was like being a sixth grader.

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About Brent Fullerton

International educator who enjoys learning about ways to enhance learning.
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2 Responses to Becoming a Student (Again)

  1. Kim Cofino says:

    So glad you enjoyed the EARCOS experience! It is wonderful to be a student again. I feel like that’s something else my PLN gives me – the opportunity to be both a student and a teacher on a regular basis. It’s empowering and enlightening at the same time. That feeling of a “learning high” you get at conferences becomes a regular part of your day when you’re connected to others that are learning with you all the time. And after you’ve known them online for a while and get to meet them face to face at a conference – that’s the best!

    • Subscribing and reading blogs since the pre-conference has reinvigorated my instruction and curriculum. I’ve been integrating cool ideas learned from reading other teachers’ blogs (mostly LA teachers) and playing with those ideas with my classes. My students walk into the class excited to see what’s new. Also, they are more apt to participate with interest knowing I’m learning about how to use more technology with them. So far, it’s been great.

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