Are you learning anything in this class?

In my Classroom Management class, my professor always gives us a quiz each week. At the end of class, we are supposed to write a reflection about something we've learned that week in class. While we're taking the quiz, she passes out the quizzes from last week, with feedback about things we've learned. On my quiz for this week, she asked me the question, "Are you learning anything in this class?"

The next reflection I wrote for her was two pages, front and back. The question made me think a LOT. Am I really learning anything? If so, what? Is it what I should be learning? Why or why not, and how can I change that? Or should I? Or is it even possible?

I feel like I've learned a lot this semester. It is my first year teaching. I go to work every day and practice the principles that I learn in class. I learn from application. I learn from experience. I learn from realities like time, energy, amount of sleep, etc. Do I learn anything from my classes?

It would be an exaggeration to say that I haven't learned anything, but that means I must have learned something. I can't figure out what that something is. I have no idea what I've been doing the past semester. It feels like I'm stuck in the same class for hours and hours - reading about how to write lesson plans, how to manage a class, how to work with students with IEP's...how can I judge whether or not I learn from reading/discussing these topics, or from my being-a-teacher-in-a-middle-school-classroom experience?

I don't know. I certainly couldn't measure for you what I've actually "learned" in Classroom Management or Foundations of Bilingual Education or large chunks of French Teaching Methodology.

Maybe this is because my subject is so spherical, and true learning is not rote memorization - which can be easily measured. How do you measure learning? How do you determine its source?

I often think about how horrible it is that I'm not learning very much in college. Is that really true? And if so, is it my fault?

I'm thinking...mostly it's not.

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