Louise’s Blog

Hello!

kondos

Hello everyone,

My name is Louise Kondos.  I teach English 9 and 11, Communications 11, and Yearbook 11/12 at Langley Christian High School.

I am married, and have two wonderful kids. My daughter is in grade 12 – finishing high school, while my son just started high school in grade 8. For many years, I taught in a curriculum that promoted a regurgitation of information, and lots of it. There was just no time to allow students to experience, reflect, grow, and learn – at their own pace. We rushed through prescribed poems, novels, stories, dramas, and lists and lists of formal grammar, which would then be examined to the smallest fact in tests and provincial exams. This article explains it all:  Five reasons why CAPS is harming our children.

It is so refreshing to be in the Canadian system where students are encouraged to learn by themselves, to show their learning in creative ways, and to do so at their own pace. I am loving it.

I have taught since 1990, which puts me “comfortably” in the Digital Immigrant group. I love technology, though, and have been teaching with a blog for the past 2 years. The Digital Native will probably, at this point, snigger. It was an exciting step for me, though. My principal is incredibly supportive, and embraces technology. I am still the only one at the high school with a blog. My own website is the next step.

I use Blogger. I have chosen a closed blog to ensure students and parents that their comments will be protected from scrutiny by the world out there. Of course, students already have a huge digital footprint with Facebook, Instagram, etc., but somehow bringing learning into the mix robs them of confidence. It is much easier to respond on a social level than it is to make yourself vulnerable by showing your level of learning. This is the resistance I get from some. So much potential right there, I know.

I do some flipped classroom, but have discovered that some parents have had a negative experience with the concept, and they are, thus, weary. As for blended learning, I have only just begun to touch on the incredible possibilities it offers.

The reason why I have enrolled for this course, is to maximize the use of technology. Info is available everywhere, and students don’t really have to memorize anymore. I want students to love English, and learn and experience within their comfort zone. Evaluating learning has changed, and I would love to explore all the possibilities. I know I can do more with my blog, for example. We have two sister schools – one in South Africa, and one in Korea. I dream of sharing our learning space with them. The closed blog does not allow for that – cap of 100 participants – but I believe this course will show me what is available.

I am on my school’s Teaching for Transformation leadership team. In short, Teaching for Transformation nurtures, invites, empowers students to make a difference. Story is used to teach and connect with the real world, real people and real problems. We encourage our students to make the connection between what they learn through course work, and life, and to apply what they learn to themselves and others. Often, learning is taken outside of the classroom and school, and applied elsewhere. Technology plays a huge role in achieving this, and I want to maximize what I can achieve.

I look forward to connecting with, and learning from you.

 

 



2 comments ↓

  • #   keith webster on 09.21.16 at 22:31     

    Hi Louise,

    I think you’ll find lots of interesting tools in this course to extend what you’re already doing in your classroom. As a parent of two children now in middle and high school. I’m glad to hear of at least a few more teachers out there using a blog to communicate. It wasn’t until my daughter hit high school that I saw any teacher with an effective use of technology for teaching or communicating.

    I’m sure the system here must be refreshing, but there is anxiety that the FSAs could form the start of a slippery slope to more standardized testing (and my kids have had anxiety about these tests in their early years). One thing that keeps K-12 safe from this (but also limits innovation in many ways) is that education is solely a provincial responsibility in Canada. Having worked with first nations curriculum in K-12 and post-secondary I can say that there is no way to define a ‘BC curriculum’ let alone a Canadian one.

    Anyway, let me know if you have any questions.

    Keith


  • #   Nic on 10.02.16 at 21:02     

    Hi Louise,

    It is a pleasure to finally read your blog posts and get a sense of some of the other students in this course. You sound very enthusiastic, engaged and interested in advancing your technology related skills and seem to have a wealth of teaching experience. I love that you base your teaching on stories – we all write our own stories in life and if we can use this metaphor to help students learn and grow then what better way is there? Beautiful work!! I am curious about many of the sites you’ve referenced and experiences you’ve had teaching with technology. Thank-you for sharing your knowledge – as a close call digital native, I’m way below you on the technology learning hierarchy and am growing many new brain circuits every time I work on this course! I appreciate what you have to offer.


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