miércoles, 22 de abril de 2015

Do we have criteria to prioritize?

Nowadays we live in a society characterised by multitasking. Many people do a lot of activities per day. We are all the time busy, even some people are used to feel bad when they do nothing.

It is very common to have more than one activity at the same time. In these cases, we have to decide what to do. These decisions are not easy when we are committed to these activities, to someone or to a group. In this situation, it is important that we reflect about our final decision. As I said before, it is not easy because we should prioritize one activity, meeting or whatever, but just one. 

To prioritize we need to have some criteria. 

Do we have it? 
Do we decide depending on our interest in that moment? 
Before commit ourselves to one activity or project, do we really think about the meaning of commitment? 
When we have two different scheduled activities on the same day and we have to decide which to attend, do we consider our commitments? 

This is an important ability to develop. 
How can we develop it? 
Just by practicing in our lives thanks to the trial and error? 

Why is this ability not considered in our formal education?

lunes, 2 de febrero de 2015

What does "continued assessment" mean?

Does it mean that the teacher take notes about our behaviour each day?
Does it mean that there is an exam every day?
Last semester we had a subject in which we learnt how to write an academic essay. We wrote a lot of essays and I believe this is necessary to improve writing skills. We did one essay per week, more or less. These are my marks.
The final mark is the weighted average point. Is this the meaning of “continued assessment”? What is the goal? I got a 3 over 10 the first time I wrote an academic essay; does it have any sense now? What is the worth of the final product? What is the value of the learning process? What is the meaning of a qualification?
Laura Sanz

lunes, 19 de enero de 2015

Just a Maths exam or something more?

Today we have done the Maths exam, it was three hours. We have had a break of 10 minutes in the middle.
There were 14 exercises. They were not the kind of exercises that I was used to do last years. I liked Maths some years ago because it was easy for me. We learned some rules in class and I was used to do as many exercises as possible. Then, the exam was actually very similar to these exercises. For me, the exams were a formal way to show to the teacher that I was able to do the exercises. My Maths qualifications were an important motivation for me. I remember a concrete exam because in an exercise I confused a 6 and I wrote 9, so the final solution was wrong. At the end I had a 9 instead of a 10. For this reason I felt failed in that moment.
Today is quite different. I have had to reflect and use my abilities on the exam!! I also have learned during it. I was conscious of my feelings; I was feeling myself useful during the exam because the activities were not just Maths operations that a calculator of a computer can compute them. They were problems that needed a brain to be solved; my brain was working. We also have had to explain our reasoning, not just put the process and the final solution. It made me think further.
I really have had enjoy it because the activities were my motivation to continue. They were little challenges. I was not conscious at all of the time. I was actually immersed on the activities. They filled me. This is an example of one of the activities.
It is a completely different way of thinking. For me it is difficult, but this makes it more interesting. I do not mind my mark. It means nothing for me now. I might have done mistakes, it is normal and necessary. Maybe I also have confused numbers, but who cares?
As the song says: “Que me quiten lo bailao”
Laura Sanz

domingo, 4 de enero de 2015

Not yet

I have to do two final essays for two different subjects and another one for the Practicum 1. At the beginning of the holidays I did a “homework-plan”. I decided to do these final essays after doing the rest of works, essays, activities and reflections. I thought:
“I want to go deeper and reflect some topics to realise my activities and works. And then, I will be able to write the three final essays successfully”
My perspective now is quite different. I have finished all my works, however I feel I am not as prepare as I wanted to write the essays. I believe that the first essay, I write, will be worse than the third one. I feel I am aware of my learning process.
I also wanted to write a post but I thought:
“I will do it better after holidays because I will have reflected more about it”
If I think in this way, I will never do anything because I am going to say all the time -NOT YET-. I have realised that to compare works of different moments or levels of my learning process is also interesting.

viernes, 14 de noviembre de 2014

Something has changed today

I am not the only student that builds a “wall” to be separated from teachers, I mean, we don´t want to have a closer relation with them. And sometimes we build it unconsciously. But why we do it?

It may be due to:
We are used to behave by this way.
We don´t want that our classmates give us the label of -pelota-.
The difference of age.
We don´t have with them too much in common.
Our concept of learning includes that teachers’ role means giving us some information and evaluate if we have memorised it or not. So the way of teaching-learning promotes a distant relationship.
We hate them because of the marks they give us.
Their authority promotes it.

There are many reasons. I thought on them while I was coming home after my English class. At the end of that class, my teacher gave me a pat on the back and wished me a nice weekend. It promoted this reflection and I think this is because I felt something. Feelings make me reflect and, in some way, make me learn (feelings are an important key). So my relation with my teacher has changed; something has changed today; I have changed; I am changing. I felt that my teacher is interested on me as a person, not only as a student. But… maybe they are concepts closer each other than I was used to think. I connect this with my idea of learning process, a concept which I am “exploring” since last year.

Continue with the metaphor, the wall is breaking down with this teacher. But what is it happening with the others? What kind of relation do I have with them? And with teachers of other years? Honesty, I want sometimes to finish a subject to change my relation with the teacher. My concept of assessment makes me treat my teachers differently than without it. Pathetic but it is true.

Let’s change this attitude! I need more pats on the back to wake me up. And you?

Have a nice weekend!

miércoles, 15 de octubre de 2014

What am I learning?

What am I learning during a class in which the teacher tells me his life?

What am I learning if the teacher doesn’t connect what he is saying with his subject?


What I am learning if I am not interested in what the teacher is saying?

What am I learning if sometimes I don’t pay attention to the teacher?

What am I learning if only the teacher speaks during the whole class?

What I am learning when I mustn’t talk with my classmates during the class?

What am I learning if this class should take 2 hours?

What am I learning if I don´t know when the teacher is going to leave; 10, 15, 25 or maybe 35 minutes before the “formal” end of the class?

What I am learning if I don’t know what the aim of the teacher is?

What am I learning if the teacher explains concepts that I have already study in Primary Education and nothing new?

What am I learning if the teacher “forces” me to do the exercise by his way and not by mine?

What am I learning if the teacher doesn’t correct the activities that he gave us?

What am I learning if we don’t put in practice the theory that we are studying in class?

What I am learning when the teacher says that his subject is an “estafa” for us?

I am learning a lot, it depends on me.

jueves, 9 de octubre de 2014

My way of thinking has changed

I can’t sleep tonight, I don’t know why. So I think it is a good idea to write down my experience of yesterday and share it with you.

Yesterday morning a person called me and asked me if I was able in the afternoon to take care of more or less 5 children while their parents had a meeting. The person, who is used to do it, wasn’t yesterday so I say “Yes I can”. I am used to be with children and I am studying teaching training (I am doing it bilingual so I write in English to improve my level), because of that I was calmed before going. Some hours before, I had prepared some games and some paints for them to colour. But on the way from my house to the school I thought it could be a great idea to help them to do their homework. Then, they would have free time at home. I was thinking on that idea but at the end I decided to do whatever the group of children needs. I know that some of my lectures prepare their classes but they don’t know what exactly is going to happen and what they are going to do. It depends on the class. So I had the same idea.


When I arrived there 10 minutes earlier, there were two little girls with their parents. It was surprise for me that they only have six years. They had their rucksacks so I thought: I am sure they have not too much homework; we can to it and then play. But everything changed in my mind when 5 minutes later, around 20 six years old children came. My head was working really fast. I was saying to the parents where the meeting was; saying welcome to the children; thinking on what we could do… many ideas came to my head.

We had a problem, the classroom was small and there were many tables and chairs inside. I was thinking on solutions but I decided stop to think alone. We were around 25 people (25 brains) and I used it. I told the problem to the children and moderated by me they were giving interesting and creative solutions. The problem was solved with the help of everybody and then we could play to some games (I taught them 2 games and they taught also 2).

It was interesting for me to see how they behave when an adult explains them something, in that case a game, and when a classmate explains them the game and the rules. Also I was surprised to see how fast a child can assume a new role, I mean, when they have to explain something to the rest of the people. I don´t know if the movements, words, rhythm of speaking etc. that they use are natural or they try to imitate their teachers.

When it finished, I reminded all that what happened and how I have behave, reflect during that time and managed the situations. We didn’t do the homework, neither paint nor play the game I had though before.

I think 2 years ago I would have done it differently, I am completely sure. Since I started my degree I have been changing. I have changed my way of thinking so I have change myself and also me way of doing things. I can notice it.