Priority tasking sounds simple in theory, but in reality, it is hard to implement. This type of ‘tasking’ allows you to identify how you should actually be spending your time, and where. A deep analytical look at your to do list will help you do this. One essential component of priority tasking is understanding that your to do list will never be achieved. This sounds hard to comprehend, but you should create a to do list that you know you can not complete or check off completely. However, I also recognize that I am human, and I hate having a to do list that is never completed. If you can not relate to me, take five minutes to write everything you CAN do the next day. Do not create a list that is achievable. The to do list must have at least 10 tasks. I will say that on average, your to do list might look somewhat similar to the one below:
A average to do list:
- Go to class
- Do Homework
- Assistantship/actual job, the required hours
- Asssistantship/actual job, unpaid hours(Lets be honest, we all work more than what we are supposed and are not paid for it)
- Cooking/ eating out
- Meeting (with your assistantship supervisor or advisor)
- Meeting with classmates
- Meet your friends
- Meeting (that could/should have been an e-mail)
- Netflix or another form of procrastination
- House (accommodation related) chores
- Run errands
- Housemate/ Family member duties or responsibilities (If you live alone, replace this with self-care or whatever is pertinent to you)
If your to do list looks different, please feel free to create one in the comments section. I would love to see how they differ.
Like most people, I believe that I am able to multi task at a relatively high rate. I believe that I am able to watch Netflix, listen to spotify, and complete my 15 page paper while having six tabs open with literature to read. This is multi-tasking at a rather modest term. I do recognize that I am also in denial. The article, Technology: Myth of Multitasking, identifies me to be a serial tasker. I will not deny this truth. Also, in reality, I usually have about 10 tabs open. However, I will be honest and say that this is how I used to think, that I was a multi-tasker. I now believe that it is far better to priority task.
Priority tasking is somewhat similar to multi tasking in the sense that we still have many tasks to complete. However, it takes the idea and motivation behind ‘single tasking’ and forces you to choose the most pressing task. Is it possible to do more tasks? Yes. As human beings that are thirsty for success, we always want to do more with our time. But should we? In addition, your supervisors will only remember the one important task you didn’t complete. It does not matter if you completed 98 other tasks, that one important task will be the one that is remembered. And at the end of the day, what do you want to be remembered for?
My authentic teaching self would have to be a teacher that aims to empower the learners within the classroom, I want them to be teachers as well. My goal is for there to be a transfer of information rather than depositing. I do understand that I will have the formal title of lecturer/teacher/professor, and that there will be a power dynamic that I can’t easily remove, as mentioned in The Authentic Teaching Self and Communication Skills. However, I still believe that the students and I can both be learners in my classroom.
As well as appreciating the role that students play in the learning process, it would be unwise to ignore my role as the teacher. I need to know what my role is in the classroom, and to do so, I need to be confident in my approach to teaching and myself. No matter how prepared one can be, students in the classroom have a way of turning all your lesson plans upside down in a matter of seconds. This is where confidence plays a key role because you will be able to devise a ‘plan e’, after plans a,b, c, d have all failed. This skill doesn’t come overnight though, it comes with practice and failure. However, failure is a powerful learning tool that we cannot ignore, which is why I also welcome it in the classroom, with myself and my students.
So, then the question becomes: what kind of authentic teacher do I want to be? I want to be a teacher who ignores titles and sees my students as equals in order to empower them to be agents in their own education with my support. My goal will be to teach them how to learn so that even when I am not in the classroom, they can teach each other because I have given them the tools , strategies, and independence to do so. Whenever possible, I will let them teach each other by challenging them in class to be creative and come up with the answers to their own questions, with my guided support. However, I will also ensure that they experience structured failure, where their failures allow them to still learn even if they fail to see it immediately. I believe for this to be my authentic teaching style, and I will continue learning until it becomes my defining characteristic.
We tend to think that learning occurs inside and outside the traditional classroom. Inside the classroom is where a professor and students usually engage in learning. The type of learning that occurs will be influenced by the professor and the students. I included students because professors are not in a classroom to supply information and then leave once their time is over. Professors should be actively engaged with the students and their learning process where both can identify as being an educator in the classroom. Ideally, the professor is providing a supportive environment inside the classroom that supports and empowers students to make meaning of the content and to have control over their learning.
The next place where learning happens is outside the classroom, and this type of learning is more complex. It is more complex because it is not limited or bounded by traditional classroom walls. Learning can occur through physical face to face interaction with peers and strangers. Most importantly, technology and the internet has made it possible for learning to never stop. With new possibilities and opportunities, students have more power over their learning experiences. The professor should not see this as an obstacle to their classroom goals but see it as an opportunity. An opportunity for students to make further meaning from classroom material and to extend their learning experiences to take true control of their learning experiences. This will hopefully serve to empower students and allow them to truly learn anywhere.
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