Welcome to the newest addition of the Project: Learning family! Our blog bears the name Transitional Understandings, a term I came across recently on Twitter. The phrase captures the process of learning from mistakes, a “fail forward” approach to learning. Failure carries with it a negative connotation, even when purposefully used in a positive way. Yet Transitional Understanding describes the same process without the negativity. We are all in transition with our learning all the time. And I hope to capture my own daily transitions in this blog. I’m still busy porting things over, blowing the dust out of some corners, and completely rebuilding other sections of this blog. It will be a few days before it’s ready for the world.
I have tried blogging before. Mostly for personal reflection, as is the purpose of this attempt as well. I consider myself reflective. And I enjoy writing, even if I’m not the greatest at it. Yet reflecting publicly has been difficult for me to do for long periods of time. Each previous attempt has lasted no longer than a month, and that’s pushing it. Speaking of pushing, my principal is the biggest reason I’m going to try this again. He has also kept numerous blogs about various things, but has been a bit more successful in keeping them active, I suppose until recently. But he suddenly jumped head first into the world of Twitter and it got his juices flowing again, so he opened his old blog back up and started writing. After some amount of conversation, I came away with my own pangings and have decided to try this again as well.
I don’t think I can yet commit to making this a long-lasting adventure. But I can commit to giving it another go. Finding things to write about tends to be the easy part for me. I have way too many passions to ever run out of ideas. But those same passions take up my time. Maintaining this blog will be a matter of me repurposing my time. Of course, feedback is always appreciated. The lack of it in my previous attempts may be directly related to my not continuing.
I am an instructional coach at Shawnee Heights High School. Before taking on this role, I taught math, both at the middle and high school levels. I love math. It’s certainly one of my passions. But I didn’t become a teacher because I love the content. I became a teacher because of my greatest love – learning. My learning. Your learning. Any learning. So, much of what I reflect about is how to improve learning and the list of things that improve learning is a long one. It’s these things that I reflect most about, and thus will undoubtedly write about, things like: guided (tiered) instruction, standards based grading, technology, classroom questioning and conversations, brain-based research, meaningful curriculum, oh, and so much more.
Even after I tidy up the blog, I suspect it will remain “messy” for some time. It will probably take me awhile to get back into the swing of things. And learning, by its nature, is messy. Transitions are always messy, too. So, while I’m not sure where we’re headed exactly, I am excited to see where my own transitional understandings take me. I hope you’ll join me on the adventure.