Wednesday, August 26, 2015
We are three days into our new school year, and I'm thrilled to report that it has gone very well! I was particularly pleased to see some of my teachers stepping well outside their comfort zones on the first day by maximizing student engagement and relationship building rather than tying the children down with exhaustive lists of rules. As we move forward, I've been thinking a lot about cultivating risk-taking and questions in classrooms to sustain student engagement. I imagine almost all educators everywhere have seen Sir Ken Robinson's TED Talk, but I often wonder how many have been able to change their schools or systems to nurture, rather than kill, student's natural creativity and curiosity.
It can be overwhelming, or even terrifying, to consider upending everything we recognize in our educational system. While we may not yet be able to organize our schools by children's interests, rather than their ages, we can make them more student-driven by designing environments and instruction that promote their natural curiosity, make it safe to take risks and fail, and cultivate self-direction. I'm slowly checking out some of these videos about embracing failure as prime opportunity for learning, so I can support my teachers in "failing forward," so they may do the same for our students.
Note: I didn't set out to lean so heavily on Edutopia, but they just post a lot of content I enjoy.