Personalized Learning Philosophy

When Education is no longer regurgitating information but rather 
strengthening the love of learning...

My journey was truly a

beautiful balance of controlled chaos.

**Use your mouse to drag the video from area to area

My philosophy: Every child learns differently and teachers need to give students the tools to not only figure out who they are as learners, but what resources they have to develop them as learners. Since each student learns and masters material differently, I have developed a curriculum that allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding based on their learning preferences.

The idea of personalized learning is truly overwhelming when you look at the average teacher- especially when you add in all the factors of class size, discipline issues, intrinsic motivation, and responsibility of ones own learning. I will be honest, this process was heavily dependent on trial and error along with many challenging road blocks. Despite all these roadblocks, I was determined to adapt my teachings based on feedback from students, meetings with professionals in the field, and an unwavering motivation to improve. I saw great value in personalized learning and I was intrigued to see where it would take me next.

To be honest, personalized learning was not a new concept for me. In fact, when I went to college (2006), I took a French Business course in which I was to create my own business. Naturally, my passion leaned towards education and how to improve our school system. My entire semester was focused on developing this business and I spent hours pondering the new education system. Ultimately, I developed a French school that allowed students to choose their pathways of education. The education system depended on student strengths and student choice. In short, students would choose courses based on what type of learner they are and what content area that they are strong in. Several years later, August of 2016, I walk into the first day of Staff development at Mesa Middle School ready to begin a new school year. A woman by the name of Erin Gilbert stood up to speak to us about a new approach to teaching called personalized learning. While other teachers seemed reluctant, my mind immediately started racing. I was thrilled to begin this challenging experience. I had no idea how I would begin, but I was ready for the challenge.

There are many ways to look at personalized learning. According to Allison Zmuda, there are four filters that can be applied to this approach to teaching: Voice, Self Discovery, Social Construction, and Co-Creation. I would first like to say that 'personalized learning' is NOT a one size fits all approach. When applying personalized learning in a classroom, you do not need to incorporate all four filters: although many filters coincide with one anther. In fact, if you attempted to do this, you would become overwhelmed and the students would get lost, especially if it is their first time seeing it. In my classroom, we tiptoe on all four filters but we only go into depth with self discovery and co-creation.