It’s not on the lesson plan or LRP but it is more worth it than what is.

I sat down today to read some Cohort 21 blogs. I wrote the following:

I am my classroom, which is quiet for the first time today as my class has left for French. I can hear another teacher down the hall teaching in a manner I can only describe as the antithesis of what I am trying to do in with my “action plan.” Not to say that that approach is not an apt choice for this moment, that class, or situation, concept, or individual, some teacher directed instruction is worthwhile but in this moment listening while simultaneously feeling frustrated about finding it so hard to promote independence and risk taking in my students just provokes a sense of …futility…?

I do not wish to sound critical of another teacher’s choices I only mention it because the juxtaposition of the two was so pronounced in that moment. Likely there are many moments when had my class been quiet, which is rare as I enjoy a lively class, I would not have been struck in that way. However, there I was sitting in my room thinking, somewhat stuck, here we are at the midpoint of Cohort 21 and feeling not at all of the midpoint of where I would like to be.

But then I read a few blogs, as I mentioned in my last post had a chat with a like-minded colleague and thought… ok what has worked well…or what have I done that I have really loved,that I felt was worthwhile for them and me, what I have I done that I would justify doing again even if it was not on the plan, curriculum, outline,etc. because it was valuable and worth doing.

I surprised myself that it didn’t take too long to come up with a list, here are the first 3 things that lept to mind:

-the hour we just spent sledding to explore friction. (Ok so I did challenge them to come up with a way to find/ go the fastest and also how you could make a hill slower to slide down, then filmed their responses between slides)

-the heated discussion about how much influence the  duty teacher should have in the creation of snow forts and rules surrounding them at recess, in which they argued both the pros and cons of teacher intervention in student affairs. (I only moderated and let them try to hash it out, to others it would have sounded like noisy arguing, I like to think of it as an exercise in listening and understanding the opinions of others even when you disagree…and how to respond politely)

-the students who joined me at a board meeting and shared so well all they were able to do with tech since we started a few months ago that I didn’t really need to say anything at all. (Ever seen a Grade Three explain how to make something with Scratch? To a less than computer savvy adult? An adult who asks how they did that? And hear them respond about how they shared what they knew with their classmates and what other people had made on Scratch? It feels pretty good.)

There are more of these moments, none of these things are on the unit plan, or in the curriculum document, or went altogether smoothly, most involved changing what I had planned to do in a spontaneous moment of inspiration, but all are more valuable than what was and are worth fighting for.Exploring friction!

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