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An Inquiring Learner
by Stephanie Blackburn

Stephanie Blackburn is working toward National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist.

September 8, 2003

This past week, I attended a workshop on integrating technology into inquiry-based learning. For two full days, I was an inquiring learner, and for the 14 hours I sat there, all I could think about how this would be incorporated into my National Board entries. The entry that focused on social studies and community raced through my mind. It would be perfect! I spent the next day brainstorming with other teachers, the instructors, and the administrators how to create that perfect inquiry-based unit. But the video taping! What will I tape? What purpose will the unit fulfill? What exactly do I need to do again? Finally, I decided I first needed to plan which units would happen when. The workshop provided an initial sounding board, but I didn't entirely finish my planning there, so I worked on it some more when I returned home. I began collecting resources and further researching my regional topic. Although the students would be doing the inquiring, I needed to lay some foundation for what I was going to be doing. On the other hand ... my entry four lays untouched since two weeks ago. I have yet to create the permission slips for the videotaping that need to go home with the students. My heart begins to pound harder and harder each day, as school begins and I continue to add to my list (most of which is not crossed off yet).
  • Relax!!!
  • Do a year-long plan of my units
  • Finish entry four.
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Meet Stephanie Blackburn

Stephanie Blackburn, one of Education World's 2002-2003 teacher diarists, received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Rhode Island in May 1994. For the first two years of her teaching career, Stephanie worked as an enrichment specialist in the talent development program for the Westerly, Rhode Island, school district. For the past seven years, she has taught fourth grade at Bradford Elementary School in Westerly. Stephanie was awarded a 2002 National Educator Award by the Milken Family Foundation, in a program that provides recognizes elementary and secondary school teachers, principals, and other education professionals who are furthering excellence in education.

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