WellyED welcomes educators from all sectors, so this week we’re excited to showcase Jess Weichler, a member of the maker community!
1. What brought you to #WellyED?
@AKeenReader introduced me to #WellyEd, but I choose to be a part of the movement because I firmly believe that in order to be better educators we need to better collaborators. There are always ways to improve and always someone who knows more than you. #WellyEd provides the means to meet up, swap ideas, and replenish our excitement for teaching.
2. What’s something exciting that’s happening in your classroom or in your sector?
My most exciting classroom moment of late came after introducing some students to coding and building their own robot entirely from scratch. It was exciting enough seeing the students at work, but the real “ah-ha” moment came when I was going around the room asking for feedback. I asked one of the students how she felt about the activity, she replied that she liked it, but that she found it a bit difficult at first because she is so used to being told what to do, yet here she was given free reign to design her robot as she saw fit without heaps of input from meddling adults. That was a pretty exciting moment, to realise that we were giving that child the agency to explore the technology and find questions, as well as answers, that never even crossed the teacher’s mind.
3. Who or what inspires you?
My students are my greatest source of inspiration. When I see them get excited about a new project or when a topic that has been giving them trouble finally clicks into place, it encourages me. They also come up with ideas that never occurred to me before. I once wrote an entire course based on something two eight year-olds taught me during a lunch break.
4. What’s your next professional learning goal?
My next professional learning goal is to share my skills with other educators and hopefully help create a learning network that encompasses formal teachers, community group leaders, makers and parents.
5. When I’m not teaching I’m…
Learning. Sometimes I’m learning about graphic design or a new programming language, other times I am simply learning how to be a better, more patient person. To be a bit more specific, this week I have been teaching myself how to use patterns and textures in my graphic design and learned how to programme an Arduino.