Habit of Mind 2

Habit of Mind #2: To be curious, critically thinking risk-takers and problem solvers


            I think that this and the #3 habit of mind are the two that I have grown the most in and learned the most from.  There is a difference from wondering how to do something and being “curious, critically thinking risk-takers.” In order to grow in this habit of mind I had to learn how to be curious in a constructive way and with that curiosity come up with a solid solution. I think that when I became involved in the education department I really lacked the skill of looking at something in a placement or a reading and asking critical questions.  I feel as if in the beginning of my education career I just took information or actions in classroom at face value and never dug deeper.  This year especially I feel as if I have truly grasped the idea of looking at a situation and questioning it.  As I look at certain situations in the classroom or in a book I have seen myself start to identify an issue and come up with a possible solution.  No more is this more evident than in my journals and reflection on my lessons.  There is even a great example of my problem solving in a lesson I created for my education 373 course.  I realized I had to create a lesson to present to my college peers that was interesting since it was towards the end of the semester and we were all pretty burned out.  I brought in the idea of using tin foil to create things and it worked out great.  It was a great risk for me because I had never done anything this abstract before in a lesson. 

During student teaching I knew that wanted to take as many risks as I could because it was my opportunity to find out what works and what doesn’t through trial and error. With my first lesson that I taught during my student-teaching I was talking about color symbolism within the short story we were reading. I had printed out pictures of knights whom they were to color with any color they felt represented their personality. Now, this seemed like a logical assignment when I was creating it but I forgot that most of theses kids may have not been taught about color symbolism or remembered. After my first lesson I was so frustrated with how it had gone because it was a complete failure. My mentor teacher and I sat down and talked about it and let me work it out in my head what would work for the next time I taught the lesson.  After his guidance and re-working the lesson plan, I was able to come back around in the same day and teach the same lesson but in a much more effective way.  The answer was simply to put it in terms they could understand.  Instead of just saying “go use color symbolism to finish your knight assignment”, I asked them what does the color red make you think of? Then I asked what the color green made them think of? After we got the hang of it I instructed them to use any color to finish their assignment and tell my why you chose that color.  It was a much more effective way of doing it and all it took was a little problem-solving and the courage to take a risk. Sir Gawain Lesson artifact

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