This week I focused on developing a global collaboration unit to use with the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. I start this novel in English 2 class this week so I will not be able to "go live" this year. I hope to have a workable product by the end of teaching this to use next year when I may have more flexibility to implement with another teacher. Given the connections that we are making within the graduate class that I am taking right now, I am not really worried about finding another educator to connect with. I am more worried about timing of the events - matching schedules and so on.
I spend many hours searching on line for units to model mine after but did not find any that matched what I was looking for. I found units that focused on global issues and but none connected directly to any novels. This is the gap I am hoping to fill. I want my student to interact with other students while reading the novel and ultimately discussing the world issues of race relations.
I will keep you posted on the final product.
During this week, we tried to connect as a class with another graduate class in another state. It failed. Like really failed. Even when we emailed the student directly, they ignored us. I was truly not bothered by this - in fact - I was slightly relieved. You see, if my master instructor could have a well planned project go down in flames - then it would be okay if I had the same outcome. We tell students that failure is okay - we make up saying to go with it - FAIL: First attempt at learning... etc... But teachers - we do NOT fail. We are the expects. Well planned lessons never go wrong. We are drilled this in our teacher preparation - if it failed - we did not prepare it well enough.
Well apparently failure can and will happen to everyone. You learn from it and move on. I like that we were reminded this in real time...in a real class... by a real instructor. Best lesson so far!!