This week made me think about my past teaching practices and how they have changed through time. My first teaching job, in a rural Alaska high school, so no tinkering or hard play in the regular classroom setting. I was very rigid in my beliefs of what a classroom should look like and rarely deviated from them. As I have added years of experience, I have also added more play, but I know that I will always have a ways to go before my students are getting the best education they could from me. There is always room for improvement, which leads me to believe I operate with a growth mindset.
I thought that Jeff’s blog post was really well written, tying his personal struggles to those of his students. I wrote the following comment on his blog:
This post was so nicely composed. I had a really great visual of the whole process of you practicing your trailer-backing skills with your colleague beside you, trying to assist, but not being able to offer much aside from positive support. The way you tied your own struggle at learning a new task to the struggle our students face every day was brilliant. We can’t get in their heads and just “give” them that knowledge. They have to want to learn what we are presenting. So, as presenters, we need to first foster that drive to acquire more knowledge, present it in a way that it is accessible, and then be the supporting cheerleader on the sidelines, encouraging our students to keep trying, to work through the struggles to reach the end goal. They are the ones doing the hard work.
Ending your post with the story of the broken starter rope was perfect. Just because you had managed to get your boat in the water, didn’t mean that was the end of the struggle. Learning never ends, and when our students understand that, they push themselves harder. Or sometimes they go to a nice sunny beach!
Hope you get your boat in the water soon!
On Genevieve’s blog I wrote, “Tinkering is the way that real science happens in all its messy glory,” is a great quote. As a science teacher, I have seen no greater learning than when kids discover things on their own. Usually this comes with a bit of guidance, but when students are given too much direction, they stop relying on their own intuition curiosity, and instead simply wait for the teacher to do the work for them, where no true learning happens. Our society needs thinkers and creative geniuses, and tinkering helps develop these skills!”
I can’t wait to see what insight this next week brings!