• Fair Chance Learning

You Don't Need to be the Expert

Updated: Feb 27

Do you remember when you first learned to drive a car? Can you see that movie in your mind? I bet that for all of us, the task of driving does not bring on waves of stress anymore. The basics of driving a car have become natural. Navigation and traffic are another issue.

Every day we ask kids to take risks and to learn new things. We plan rich learning activities and expect them to grow as students. This involves considerable risk for them at times. It is so easy to underestimate the challenge that new learning can bring. James Nottingham encourages us to lead students into the “Learning Pit,” and that challenge is where the real growth happens.

The question is: “What risks do we take ourselves?” Are we modeling this for our students? Are we personally diving into the learning pit? Yes, we need to plan carefully and do our homework to give whatever we are trying the best chance at success. But at the same time, if you wait until you are an expert, you may never start.

Years ago, when I took the leap into OneNote, Learning Tools and TEAMS, I could not effectively practice without having an actual class. So, what happened? We learned together, made some mistakes and learned from each other along the way. In the end, these platforms transformed my classes and took us to new places of discovery.

The point is that we can model risk taking in our classes just like we ask our students to do every day. With support of colleagues who have already traveled the path or through training and resources from others, there are always folks ready to cheer you on and support your leap of faith. As you innovate within your classroom, others in the school or division may come along for the ride. For me, my support was from the Louis Riel School Division, administrators, Microsoft Education, Fair Chance Learning and a host of inspirational educators on Twitter. They helped light the way on my path.

Take the leap with your students and transform your class. Be sure to take time to reflect along the way and to document the changes you see. Your impact will have implications that will last a lifetime for yourself and your class.

About the Author:

Warren Hart has been a teacher for over 30 years. He is passionate about learning new skills and technologies that enrich student learning. Warren also loves mentoring other teachers. He is recognized as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Fellow and Skype Master Teacher. Currently, he is on The Learning Team for Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg, Manitoba and is an EdTech Mentor. In 2018, he was 1 of 4 teachers selected nationally to represent Canada at Microsoft’s Educator Exchange Program in Singapore.

Find Warren on twitter @WarrenHart

Learn more about the potential of Microsoft Education Tools to support students in their personalized learning journey at TransformEd Vancouver next month. Register here.