As a teacher, my job is to facilitate learning. I am there to help students discover new ideas and create work they are proud to show and inspired to share. My responsibility is to prepare them for the future AND to ensure they enjoy their present days.
Ideas, time, and space are needed for kids to feel like they can produce products that matter. After finishing literature circles, kids were given choice of final projects and partners. Mrs. K and I allowed our kids to collaborate with kids from other classes. Their projects spilled out into a mix of workspaces: our classrooms, the hallways, outdoors, the library, a spare room across the hall, and on one crazy day the cafeteria. The greatest joy of teaching: hearing kids excitedly coming together to create.
There is a saying teachers get asked more questions than any other job, and I think this might be true. The other day, I tried to see how many times I could answer in the affirmative.
Yes, you may work there.
Yes, you may use that.
Yes, that is a GREAT idea!
Each day it is important that we give students authentic learning opportunities. As a mom, I know, my daughter’s work I keep is the work she creates. As a teacher, I want my students to have as many chances to produce as possible. Kids matter… their thoughts, their feelings, their work. If as educators, we are only pushing through tedious tasks because we are “preparing children for the future,” we are missing the point of education. Education is meant to inspire, uplift, and empower us as a people. What lives are we preparing our students for if drudgery is the means to the end? Life is not in the future; it is NOW and nobody understands that better than children.
“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”