Having just re-read that post and reflecting on the year that is about to finish, I realize just how fortunate I am for embracing PBL. And, I realize how important it is for all teachers to discover what I have discovered about this teaching/learning process.
If you haven't considered PBL yet, or you are struggling with the idea of doing this, you might want to read through this post from last Spring on 6 things you can expect when you are a PBL teacher. There are hundreds of other posts on the subject with many just in my postings over the years.
Five years ago I considered myself a pretty darn good math teacher. I believed in (and used) cooperative learning groups. And I embraced the use of technology in the classroom. My fellow teachers and administrators would (probably) agree with the instruction piece of being a good teacher but they would definitely say that I had trouble with classroom management. My Achilles heal.
In PBL I was able to continue working on improving my teaching abilities but I still struggled mightily with classroom management. However I learned that, in PBL, I could do a better job at managing my classroom when I was organized with my daily plan. Who'd a thunk! Organization makes the classroom management easier. Wow!
And so, this school year, I've been able to see many teachers in their classrooms in my roll as an instructional coach. I no longer have to worry about how my students are acting (and neither do my neighboring teachers). I get to see effective and less effective teaching practices. I see good and not-so-good classroom management. I see students thriving and students not being given the same opportunity to learn. It's time to make a difference at my school.
With the new year I really need to share the good PBL practices I have used and the practices I have read about. I need to model teach and I need to help plan classes and projects. In short, I need to be a good instructional coach. I need to push data to hours outside of the school day. Our teachers need me during the normal school hours and I owe it to them to be available. And, my principal needs to know that I'm out there helping make our school the best it can be.