What a first quarter we’ve had! So many teachers are shifting the work their students are doing and how they are part of the learning. Students and teachers are engaged and excited about learning more than I’ve seen in all the years I’ve been at our high school.
I think what I’d like to focus on for the next quarter is really helping teacher examine two main questions.
These questions were inspired by conversations my students were having last week. These students have been involved from the very initial planning stages, through imaging and distribution and with supporting their peers who run into problems with their computers. They were sharing how some of their rooms are set up and what they think about it. They talked about how the work they are doing in their classes is different this year – in some classes. They mentioned how much some of their teachers love what they do. Our students are very observant and articulated some very true statements about their classes and teachers and really helped me reflect on what should come next.
- Is your space working for this new type of learning? I think this will let us open up discussions about what is happening in our classrooms and what our students are actually doing in the spaces. Some of our teachers have drastically redesigned their spaces. Others have made small changes. Some have things set up the way they always have been. I want them to really think about how it works with the kinds of learning their students are doing now.
- What do your students really think about this new shift? I think our kids have a lot to tell us. They are often very insightful if we would only listen. Building in opportunities for students to provide real feedback to teachers means a high level of trust is in place – both teachers and students trust and value each other. A few weeks ago I read this article (shared by Alice Keeler) about how students need time to adjust to this new way of learning. It doesn’t mean it isn’t working, it just means students also need time to process changes.
Where will you focus your energy this 2nd quarter and into the new year?