"The purpose of education, to me, is to inspire and guide children through the learning process."
I feel the attitude of learning has been that you either pass or fail. However, there is no direct route to learn something. For some it may take 20 times to get something right and for others it might take 1. There is nothing wrong with either approach but I think the structure surrounding education has told otherwise. So to me, supporting all students in a way that allows them to be guided through the learning process in their own way is important. Therefore, it is imperative that teachers are innovative because it’s their job to create an environment where children can take risks in their learning and be supported in the process. Teachers must create an atmosphere in their room that conveys to children that it is ok if they do not get it “right” the first time. It is through a teachers own exploration of innovation that allows children to see the process unfold.
Opportunities to change are presented to us every day. To me, it’s part of my journey as, an educator, to make sure I am practicing what I preach. I tell my students that when you try, your brain grows and you learn new things. If I am telling my students that they need to try and expand their thinking – then I need to do the same.
Currently, I am involved in tutoring young students. Two of the students I have are working with STEM and coding. I have been working on facilitating and developing the STEM design process. One area from the process I am going to start putting more emphasis on is the end result. I am thinking an end interview would be a great way for my students to demonstrate their thinking and design.
If I started a school from scratch the most important thing I would want in my school are educators who are passionate about teaching. These passionate educators would be teacher leaders - educators who are willing to think outside the box and push themselves outside their comfort zones to do what is best for students.
If I had to take something out of what we currently do it would be the scripted lessons and common assessments. I do think there is something to be said about direct instruction, but not scripted lessons. I think it’s important that learning be flexible. For example, in my school, teachers would still have standards or teaching points but they would be participating in project based learning or design thinking in their classrooms. Yes, I would still want direct instruction, possibly for certain subjects or small groups of students at a time, but a majority of the day would be spent on students exploring their own projects. As for the assessment piece, I still like reading assessments. However, I think there are more effective ways to assess our students' knowledge.
Throughout the first chapter I highlighted and wrote down many inspiring quotes. Then when I watched the YouTube Live session, I did the same thing – 7 pages worth of notes actually. One thing that really stuck out to me during the YouTube Live session was the talk on curiosity and creativity. I got so excited during those parts. It’s something I’m very passionate about. People are naturally curious. Therefore, when children are able to take their curiosity and work with it – it’s amazing what they can come up with. I had a creation station in my classroom. The students’ projects took up a lot of space and it was messy, but it was their learning and they came up with some amazing designs. Same thing with the Legos, I had an area set up for students to keep their work so they could keep modifying and expanding on it. Again, it took space and was messy but their creations were modified each time they went there to work. And hey, no one said learning was mess free! ;)
In closing, I am so excited about this book. It is so great to be communicating with like minds.
Until next time,