3.1 I teach, therefore I adapt
The following quotes have been taken from conversations with educators discussing whether they create their own resources or reuse what they find online.
‘Free resources allow me to be more creative with my classroom time. I mean, lesson planning wise, if I am strapped for time then I am able to pull up a resource someone else has already made. But I do still like to use my own as well, just so I know that I am the teacher in the room.’ (English teacher)
‘Sometimes when I’m looking online I’ll find something and I’m like “that’s great”, I’ll just kind of use that with my students. But then there’s other times I’ll see something online and I’m like, “that’s an interesting idea, I hadn’t thought about it that way”, and sometimes I’ll take it and modify it so it works better with my students.’ (Math teacher)
‘I see something online and think “that’s pretty good but I know how to do it better” and so I take what I see, modify it and improve it and make it for my students.’ (Math teacher)
‘I had to create a lot of my own stuff because the textbook that we have is … oh my, it’s terrible, it taught things in weird orders and so one of the German teachers and I who were at school sat down and really started with objectives and what we wanted students to know, and then how are we going to divide that up, and then (…) what is a good method, what kind of topics work to explain these concepts, what vocabulary goes with these concepts, so we created our own vocabulary list and so on. I created my own practice for grammar because it’s all intertwined and nothing I have ever found was done the way I wanted it to be done.’ (Language teacher)
‘Okay, sometimes I will take pieces from each module; for example, some modules I can’t really adapt, I can’t take them and change them but what I can do is … let’s say there’s a certain module that would be 85 to 90 minutes for the students to complete and the only piece that I wanted them to get out of it was the second section, so I was saying “Go online to this module and just focus on the second section”.’ (English teacher)
‘I look for free online resources that help me to be a better teacher and so I look at different things. I focus on how we are teaching the children. I’m not looking for free worksheets, so that’s the least of my concerns, I’m looking for activities and projects that promote deeper thinking – you know, just to better my teaching, in general. So I will maybe look and find an instructional video that’s maybe 2 or 3 minutes long that gets to the point better than I could and I use it, or I look for lessons and if they are for Grade 5 or for Grade 3 I don’t use all of it, I just adapt it, I take out what I don’t want and rearrange it.’ (Primary school teacher)
Having read what some other teachers do, now think about your own experiences.
- Do you normally use a resource as is or do you adapt it?
- What do you gain from using materials created by others?