My name is Randi Hayashida, aka mom, Mrs. Hayashida, Ms., Ms. Randizzle, and H-dawg. Teaching consumes the majority of my time and I’m grateful to have found a profession where I feel my time is well spent. I currently teach students in the 10th and 12th grade and it is my continued hope that I am teaching them the skills they need to be successful in life, not just within the four walls of a classroom. One of the ways that I am trying to provide these skills for my students has been to return to school myself and earn my Master’s Degree in Curriculum Studies with a Secondary & Middle Level Emphasis. This blog will trace my journey as a teacher and student.
How might we measure the impact of innovative practices in education?
This by far is no easy feat. Measuring the impact of innovative practices in education cannot be done by taking a test or collecting data from a survey. This type of measurement is not tangible. Engagement, active participation, ownership of learning, and passion are some of the results of innovative practices in education. A starting point would be the questions mentioned in The Innovator’s Mindset. Schools could ask students the following questions: 1. Do you consider yourself as a successful, contributing member of society? 2. Why did you give the answer above? 3. What impact do you think the school had on your answers? This a promising start to determine if and how what was taught in school made an impact. It also provides information on how schools could improve their current practices. However, finding students once they leave school and ensuring that they answer these questions can be difficult.
What are you most significant takeaways from the Innovator’s Mindset MOOC?
Some of my significant takeaways from IMMOOC are allowing my students’ need to drive what and how I teach them. Narrowing my focus and promoting engagement in student learning is another takeaway. My third significant takeaway is addressing and teaching within my school rather than just doing so within the confines of my classroom.
What will you do as a result?
From my most significant takeaways I plan to get more student feedback and use that feedback to make the necessary adjustments to better what and how I teach. I have also started to ask students what they would like to do for their final assessments for the units that we have been covering. It is completely up to them in deciding how they will be assessed. Although I have been doing this for only a short time, student engagement and interest has increased by this simple adjustment. I also plan to have students help create rubrics where necessary.
Students have also been given the opportunity to share what they want to learn. For example, we are currently covering World War I and I have given students more participation in their learning by letting them decide the focus of exactly what we will be covering concerning World War I. This has been somewhat of a challenge for me in making sure that I am following our state standards and benchmarks while allowing students to have more say in their own learning. However, student engagement has been on the rise when they are given this opportunity to steer their learning.
In terms of teaching to the whole school, I would like to start small. Something simple as hanging banners that promote academics, college and career readiness, and awareness, such as suicide prevention and anti0bullying is where I would like to start. I have also been wanting to hang positive praise signs in our student bathrooms to build a culture of positivity and respect at the school level.
How will you hold yourself accountable?
I will hold myself accountable in continuing to do what I am doing now and seeking feedback from my students. I will also be sure to share my successes and challenges within my department and administration.
How are you telling your story, sharing your learning (making great learning go viral), and innovating “inside the box” to make an impact in your community?
I am sharing my story with my colleagues and through blogging. I haven’t quite figured out just yet how to get our community involved but will continue to look further into this area.