Beyond Batumi was a blog that I began a few years ago to help illustrate the many reasons for people to go and visit the hidden tourism gems that are Adjara and Batumi, in the Republic of Georgia. Needless to say, this blog stalled after some time. I am hoping that this new input from my EDUC 407 course will help to spur some new life into this blog.
This blog’s new focus will look at the original idea of “Beyond Batumi” in a more personal way than what the blog was originally created to shed light on (the hinter-regions of Adjara). This new iteration of Beyond Batumi will start looking at my travels, both physically and mentally, in arenas in my post-Batumi life. Initially I will start focusing on my education as a teacher.
I have reentered school, again. I am now enrolled in a teaching credential program that is offered by the University of La Verne, my undergrad Alma Mater. Currently I am taking courses in Educational Technology (which this blog is a required component), methodology for teaching English Language Learners, and another course regarding diversity in the classroom. I am currently enrolled in the Teaching Credential Program though I am currently in the process of rolling the credential program over into what is a Master’s program where I may choose tech in the classroom as an area of emphasis.
Students at Axalsofeli (Akhalsopeli) Public School, 2012. 3rd Grade.
So, here I am, introducing a new BEYOND component to this blog. Education. I will start this introduction with a quick inclusion of an assignment required for my educational technology course, my Educational Philosophy:
My educational philosophy is a rather simple one. It is similar to the Hippocratic Oath that doctors have to take and it is first and foremost this, “First, do no harm.” One must be aware in the classroom and in all aspects of their life that they have great potential to do harm. This is not speaking of great physical violence but the potential for damage to be done to a student’s psyche whilst one (the teacher) thinks that they may be doing good.
This “…do no harm….” idea springs from my own experience. When I was a child I had difficulty with math. My 3rd grade teacher used to post grades on the board and have the students passing their multiplication tables move along towards a goal as if in a horse race. As I said before, I had trouble with math and watching my friends move along (publicly) while I stayed at a certain level for longer time than they did compounded my anxiety and insecurity. Eventually my aversion blossomed into a full blown phobia. This is NOT the aim of education. I, for all subjects, minus math, have had a lifelong love affair with learning and the sciences. I was to become an archaeologist prior to getting into the classroom and teaching English to students in the former Soviet Republic state of Georgia (not the Atlanta one) during a year break between my undergrad and grad studies (I was to go to the University of Aberdeen in Scotland). After teaching for a year in Georgia, my life was changed. I loved aiding these kids in their learning process. I found teaching to be extremely rewarding and if I could express my aims and intentions in a simplified philosophy, it is to do no harm. Do not screw up the psyches of the youth through misguided though often well intentioned instructional styles. Make learning something that can be enjoyable as in reality, it is a JOY. If at all possible, make it possible for your students to love the educational process and education.
Bringing this home to ed. tech., I will in the coming posts write about how technology can potentially aid in facilitating the learning process and get kids to love what they’re doing.