This week I reread the beginning of chapter 8 where George Couros writes about what happens to students when they struggle in our schools:
The teacher may even recommend and extra math class in leu of electives. What often happens in such situations is that the student does not improve in math but learns to hate it and school.
I have seen that happen so. many. times. We have certainly failed as educators if the outcome is that our students hate learning and hate school.
— Sylvia Duckworth (@sylviaduckworth) January 18, 2015
What Do I Already Do?
As a writing teacher, I am comfortable with#1 Voice, #2 Choice, #3 Time for Reflection, and #7 Self-Assessment. My ultimate inspiration is Nancie Atwell–writing teachers, and that should be all of us, if you don’t already have it, purchase her book In the Middle right away.
What Do I have to Work On?
Definitely #8 Connected Learning. I admit it makes me nervous to invite outside experts to my classroom. I am shy by nature. I feel social anxiety when it comes to reaching out to strangers in order to ask them to work with my students.
I am activity working on #6 Problem Solvers / Finders. My students tend to wait for grown-ups to tell them what to do. I want them to at least try to find their own solutions before they ask me for help. Problem finding is even MORE challenging.
As writing teacher Donald Murray said—
Problems make good subjects.
I want my students to find problems to explore, research, and then write about.