As a kid growing up I had times when I loved school and times I despised it. I'll never forget a particular moment in eighth grade. I was in line walking up from the middle school to the library. The hallway was wide and the floor was carpeted, you could only hear quiet murmurs as we walked up the hall. I turned the corner and started up the gentle incline. The windows grabbed my attention, I peered out. It was beautiful outside. The sun was shining and I just wanted to get out. I'll openly admit I felt as though I was in prison. I wondered, could I crawl out that window and escape? Would they notice if I was missing? It's not that I hated school, I was bored.
I asked a loaded question in the beginning. This is my opinion on the matter.
I believe learning should be an enjoyable experience.
I believe we are life long learners and learning should make us feel good.
I believe an engaged student is a student that will learn.
I believe engagement can create curiosity and joy.
I believe students that enjoy school have a higher probability of success. (All you need to look at for justification is the drop-out rate)
The research says that an engaged student learns twice as much. Yes, TWICE as much! Check out the article Study: Engaged Students Learn Twice As Much
As a teacher I spent a large chunk of my evenings and weekends planning lessons and trying to brainstorm ideas that would excite student learning. I still remember times when I heard students say they were bored. Outwardly I would say, "It's not my priority to entertain you." But inwardly I was disappointed by the comment. I was hired to teach and I took that as a huge responsibility, I knew that a bored student learned very little. Essentially I believe a bored student simply regurgitates information and doesn't truly learn.
Recently I asked a student the question, "Should school be fun?" What do you think the student said?
The answer was an emphatic YES! The older we get the more we understand that school is seven hours of each day, but it's more than that. It's the main social interaction for students during the day, it's their exercise for the day, it's possibly their best meal(s) and it is definitely the most they will learn for the day.
Ultimately fun is relative; what is fun to one may not be to another. I do believe we should enjoy what we do. I once dreaded what I did. Years ago I went through a funk. I dreaded going in each day and it showed in my planning and delivery. I was fortunate because I had a friend simply tell me that I had changed. At first I was angry, but then I realized he was right. I slowly shifted my attitude and rededicated myself to my students. I wanted learning to be enjoyable for my students.
This week's big questions: Are you the teacher you dreamed of being? Are your students engaged in your lessons?
NEXT WEEK AT A GLANCE:
Monday, November 11th: Conferences
Tuesday, November 12th: Pioneer Living 3rd Grade
Tuesday, November 12th: Panther Pride Lunch
Tuesday, November 12th: Happy Bday Kathy Sharp
Tuesday, November 12th: IEP's in Conference Room
Tuesday, November 12th: 2nd Grade to JCC
Tuesday, November 12th: Conferences
Wednesday, November 13th: K-2 Assembly
Wednesday, November 13th: String Team 1:55pm & 3pm
Wednesday, November 13th: TAT 3pm
Thursday, November 14th: Pioneer Living 3rd Grade
Friday, November 15th: Fire Drill at 9:20am
Friday, November 15th: Picture Retakes
Saturday, November 16th: Happy Bday to Katie Powers
Sunday, November 17th: Happy Bday to Chris Kline
* Book Fair is located in Library all week
* Please let me know if you would like me to attend a specific conference
Articles Worth Reading:
How To Use Real-Time Technology in the Classroom by @toddacurtis
"Who will survive?" A Beginners Guide To Project Based Learning shared by @MPNEngaged
A Dozen Basic Guidelines For Educators by @alfiekohn
Mashing Genius Hour With Problem Based Learning +TeachThought @TeachThought
Take a day and visit your school +Tony Sinanis @Cantiague_Lead
Common Core in Action: Writing for an audience shared by +William Powers @MrPowersCMS
How We Can Actually Create Life Long Learners +Fred Sitkins @fsitkins
Overcome 4 Massive Motivation Killers shared by @MPNEngaged
Dragon Dictation App shared by +Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher
50 Math Web Games for Kids +Matt Gomez @mattBgomez
5 Engaging Activities for Early Finishers +Erin Klein @KleinErin
Boring Teachers and How We ALL Can Respond @grantwiggins
How To Follow On Twitter Without Joining Twitter +Patrick Larkin @patrickmlarkin
Videos Worth Watching:
3 Minute Video explaining the CCSS (Worth your time) @SueVanRiper
Perseverance! Thanks for sharing Dan. +Dan Callahan @dancallahan
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