The first suggestion for ideas to write about for this post was:
Write a post about learning styles and your thoughts on the recent research suggesting they are an ineffective teaching/learning tool.
Confession time: Do you know what I did for the first week of my very first week of being a French teacher? The whole week we did learning styles! Yep. The whole week!! In English. (GASP!) We took a test. We determined how we learned. We made a portfolio folder and drew designs on it representing our learning styles. I planned it. I probably spent a week planning it! I thought it was a great idea! I was just out of student teaching. I knew all about everything that was supposed to teach kids real good!
Well, lucky for me I figured out that that was not the best use of instructional time about two days in (about the time when a student said, “Are we going to do French anytime?”) I never did that again. And after that week, I got right into what I was supposed to be doing: talking some French.
I certainly don’t mean to sound like the surly old lady in the lunchroom who rolls her eyes at every new idea. (I’m actually fairly confident I’m not her, as I’ve usually got new ideas every week for something.) As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve realized that I’m less about trying every “new” idea I come across that seems great and more about making sure that my core center of teaching is strong and student centered. I try more and more to avoid jumping from one new idea to the next, but rather to fold the new ideas into my teaching practice so that if you look at my teaching career it looks more like a rainbow. The changes are subtle up close, but step back and there are some significant differences.
In the end the pendulum may swing, but the core practices are always at the center.