What Works?

Honestly, I haven’t really enjoyed reading What Works? A Practical Guide for Teacher Research. So far, it hasn’t felt very practical. Maybe because I’m not teaching? Maybe because some of the examples are made-up? Maybe because so much of it seems redundant or simple or… something.

But! I did enjoy reading chapter 7-9 more than the others. For the first time, I dog-eared pages. (Of course, I didn’t have a pen in my hand, so maybe that’s why?) I think the chapter on “Preparing the Working Proposal” was definitely helpful, especially because I know we’ll have a proposal coming up soon. The section on taking field notes was interesting to me as well. I think I should have been taking research notes this whole time. I haven’t been. I should have. I’ll start now, or something. It’s definitely something I’ll make myself do next semester as I work on my Capstone project. Research notes, journals of what I’m doing and learning, ideas, questions, themes, gaps. That’s what I need to have to be able to write a thorough report, article, whatever it is that I’m planning on doing to disseminate this research I’m doing. I think this blog could be a great place for that. Maybe I’ll create one for myself next semester and keep everything on it so I never lose it (until the internet goes down or the power goes out).

I also liked the little chart on p. 135 of data sources & methods that Karen used. I know it wasn’t everything that we have available, but it was nice to see it all in once place. Charts like that are helpful to me.

And then in chapter 9, there was the idea of sorting data. Since we’re all working on the lit reviews, and since I’m having problems sorting through data (articles) for themes, this came at the perfect time. I need to finish up collecting my articles, sit down and read/skim them, and then get on sorting them so I know what the heck I’m doing for my lit review. Once again I’m feeling like there’s not enough time, that I haven’t been using the time I do have wisely. But I have to cut myself some slack, because I just refined my subject again this week (Monday/Tuesday), and I have a family, and I have a house to take care of and a yard with trees that will not stop dropping leaves, and it’s been so nice out that I’ve been playing outside with my girls and doing yardwork as much as possible.

It’s all in the balancing, isn’t it? That’s what it said in chapter 7, about creating the research proposals. I just need to keep reminding myself that.

(Maybe I’ll ask my neighbor if I can borrow his riding lawnmower to get rid of these leaves instead of raking or push-mowing them. That would save time, which I would then use not doing my homework, I’m sure.)

Good luck everyone!

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