Most likely, we've all seen the posts from other teachers on social media saying, "Would you want to be a student in your classroom?" It's an excellent question, meant to drive educators to reflect on their practice. For the past several weeks, that question has begun to evolve for me and has become, "Would I want my child to be a student in my classroom?" If you think on this for a moment, this changes the game even more, especially if you're a parent. If you know my oldest child (and many of you do), then you also know that she is imaginative, energetic, and passionate. She loves to learn. But chances are, there are many days that in my very own classroom I would have bored her to tears. Sometimes these days are necessary. There were other days, though, that I would have had the opportunity to see that creativity burst through. We've all had days like this as teachers and these moments make what we're doing totally worth it.
A few days ago, I was talking with a friend who told me a story about her child. As parents, we all do this fairly often but this particular story struck a chord with me. She told me her son, who had already finished his homework, had come home to camp out at their table with a piece of paper and pencil. As she took care of the daily tasks we parents know all too well, she kept an eye on him, intent and focused on his task for over an hour. Dad came in and noticed his intense concentration as well. When finished, he handed over his work, a wonderful creative writing piece, complete with an illustration. As she was telling me this story, she never had to say that it is a wonderful moment when your child works so hard to create something and is deeply passionate about it. As a parent, I've seen these moments. As a teacher, I've seen these moments. And they are beautiful.
My question for you this week is this: Are you seeing these moments in your classroom? Those moments when your students tap into the things that generate such enthusiasm? For some students, it is easy to create these moments and others, much more difficult. And of course, we all know time is an issue. Resources are an issue. But...these moments are the reason we do what we do. I know that you all are passionate about teaching. I've seen the fire many times over the past year. Take some time over the next few weeks and reflect on what is happening in your classroom and what your students are doing. The picture below is from a school in Lee County that is posted above the copy machine. I hope that it too will be a source of inspiration as you reflect.
This week we intend to get you thinking but don't be dismayed - we aren't going to leave your hanging with just a reflection. Over the next few weeks, Kim and I will be doing several posts about innovative practices, digging a little deeper into this topic and give a little guidance on how to put your thoughts and ideas into action.