EDLD 5320 - the final countdown

When I first read about COVA, me first impression was, sure, right, what's the catch? As I realized that it was real, I had to rethink my perception and my attitude. If I have a choice, do my students? How can I adjust my teaching to give my students a taste of COVA. I realized that I could not introduce COVA all at once without explaining, in depth, what it meant. So I started with a few simple changes. Stop saying, you're wrong, wrong, or any negative response. Instead I started with, you would be right of we were talking about..., or close, can you explain what you mean? Waiting for them to think about their response was another simple change, let's give them a chance to think about their answer. Having been in the military, I had learned how to control my voice in stressful situations so that was a non-issue for me. I also realized that many of my "rules" were selfish and unnecessary. I didn't have to control every aspect of my classroom to have effective classroom management.

So I gave in and let students walk around the classroom, sit on the floor or stand up instead of sitting  the whole period. I struggled internally at first and found that many of my students who appeared to have issues settled down and started learning in earnest. BY giving them a bit of ownership of their learning, it changed the dynamics of my classroom. Next, I gave them a voice as well, small at first and slowly giving them authority in their learning yet reminding them of the boundaries they has to linger within. Every math students asked why they need to learn Algebra, Geometry, etc., which I realized was a very valid question. Yes, I can always find videos and lesson which provide real world applications to the lessons but i realized I had to make it relevant. Yet what is relevant for me is not necessarily relevant for them so I asked them for examples and I was very surprised by their responses. I realized that if I give them choice and voice in their learning, ownership and authentic learning follows close behind, not by my leadership but by my students own choice.

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