When I first started out with this program, I was not sure what to expect. During the first class assignment where I had to come up with an innovation plan that is when I first got a glimpse of the COVA learning approach. I was filled with anxiety of how I was going to complete my assignment or continue with the program. I have always had thing spelled out for me with a lot of hand-holding. It was overwhelming to have the freedom to choose how I completed the assignment. I wrapped my head around how to handle this first assignment and put a lot of thought into what kind of project to undertake.
This was not the usual way I learned. I was not comfortable in having free reign on my assignments. My adjustment really came when it was time to turn in for a grade. I have always been the type of student who needed to get an A. So learning to trust myself with only guidelines and having everything else up to me was nerve-wracking. I did not know how my assignment would be graded. It was hard, and I still struggle with that aspect of COVA. Being able to let my voice out and focus on my organization as my audience was not as tough for me because for the most part, I would visualize myself and what I would like to hear about.
My innovation plan was written to change my classroom environment. I wanted to give my English Language Learners (ELLs) the best practice to improve their math learning. At the beginning of the program, I was fully aware of what I wanted, because I had been thinking about changing my classroom environment for some time. As I went through the program, my initial ideas began to evolve. I learned that my classroom not only needs to change from the way I instruct my students, but their learning environment has to be set where they are free to voice their learning and feel safe to learn at their own pace and make mistakes.
Since I teach elementary students, I believe I will need to take it slow to introduce COVA. Even at an early age, students feel that they need to have a set of assignments. They still have a sense of needing hand-holding through the assignment. So in order for them to get out of this mindset, I will have to ease this new approach on them slowly. Making sure they learn to have a voice and they have a say in their learning is important for them to learn to love learning. If we can get them to follow their own instincts, make sure their voice is heard they are going to be able to take ownership of their learning. In order for my colleagues to adopt the COVA learning style, they will need to be trained on how to create a classroom environment where students are more in charge of their learning.