Caitlin McLemore
3 steps to deepen your teaching practice

As teachers, we all need to take risks and innovate using edtech in our daily teaching practice. But that doesn’t mean focusing on tools. Often it’s more about reflection and connection.

We’ve found yoga to be a useful analogy as we remind educators to breathe, stretch and meditate on their teaching practices in an effort to reach higher. The process we developed to help stretch ourselves as edtech educators has three components: breathe, stretch and meditate. 

1. Breathe. As you get started in the teaching profession or re-evaluate where you are in your teaching practice, we recommend that you pause and breathe. We guide you to think about your purpose, your potential and your aspirations. We remind you that even if you might be isolated in your classroom, you are not alone, and you can, indeed, reach out to other educators and build networks. 

Build a PLN on Twitter or get involved with one of the ISTE Professional Learning Networks.

Breathing mindfully allows you to become conscious of your identity, values and beliefs and how you want to align those to your practice.

2. Stretch. We may have our lesson plans worked out for the term or have projects that we know will be a success because we’ve done them many times before. Instead of thinking that we are finished, or do the same thing year after year, we can stretch ourselves with new lesson plans or project ideas.

The ISTE Standards for Students provide a useful framework for creating innovative lessons that integrate technology in meaningful ways. Think about how you could create a project that combines global collaboration, creative communication and computational thinking. Or, think about how you might construct a unit where students must use computational thinking, innovative design skills and knowledge construction to be successful. There are many more combinations. Try one out!

3. Meditate. We spend a lot of time planning and teaching, but don’t always dedicate as much time to reflecting. Let's not underestimate the importance of introspection to enhance our practice. We also spend time providing feedback to students, but do our words always align with our intentions? In our meditation practice, we work on improving collaboration, communication and feedback. 

Get specific ideas about how to deepen your practice by watching a recording of our ISTE Expert Webinar, “Stretch Yourself! A Personalized Journey to Deepen Your Teaching Practice,

You’ll learn:

  • How to take our “flexibility” quiz to get personal recommendations.

  • How the yoga analogy relates to educational technology.

  • How to breathe and develop a personal mantra.

  • How to stretch through an example of an interdisciplinary lesson that combines several of the ISTE Standards for Students.

  • How to meditate on the growth process through feedback.

Caitlin McLemore and Fanny Passeport are authors of the ISTE book Stretch Yourself: A Personalized Journey to Deepen Your Teaching Practice. McLemore is the academic technology specialist at Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tennessee, where she fosters meaningful technology integration within classroom curriculum. Passeport is an educational technology coach at Mercedes-Benz International School in Pune, India. She blogs about the impact and purpose of edtech at noborderslearning.com.

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