A message about Taking Risks…

Hello again blogging world! My February break was so nice some things (like blogging) seemed to take a two week holiday. Never the less, I am now back into the full swing of things as my block is only two weeks away! Yesterday afternoon, our art class had the opportunity to listen to a fabulous presenter and storyteller Kevin MacKenzie. Kevin is a well known Canadian storyteller who lives right here in Regina. After waking us up with some great finger plays and having us participate in some fun group activities we had a great class discussion. We spoke a lot about the importance of teachers taking risks, being on the edge of not knowing, and learning/participating with their students. He referred to young children as “learning ninjas.” They learn so many things at such a fast pace, that when they come to school and are forced to learn the same thing, at the same time as everyone else their learning comes to a cashing halt. They are forced to sit in desks all day and do what the big person in the room tells them. So, to encourage students to keep learning and push our class to engagement, the teacher must be a model, and take many risks in the classroom. Those are the kinda of teachers that we remember, the teacher that meets those learning ninjas and says “Hey, lets do this together, respectfully, and lets have some fun.” Close your eyes for a minute and think about your favorite elementary school teacher………………….. Now tell me, was that teacher the kinda of person who played it safe, or were they a risk taker? 9 times out of 10 that teacher was a risk taker who made your learning experiences engaging and meaningful. Kevin’s point was that by doing silly things with our students like finger plays or any right brain activity, we are taking risks as teachers, and modeling for our students the importance of doing so. I loved his presentation so much I bought his DVD and plan on using some of the finger plays as “brain breaks” in my 3 week block!

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2 thoughts on “A message about Taking Risks…

  1. Allie – it sounds like an amazing session that you attended. I LOVE the term “learning ninjas,” and you are right – my favorite elementary school teacher was probably my Grade 5 teacher. I wrote a play, that I presented to her. She asked me what I would like to do with my “work,” and I indicated that I would like to cast it, and present it to the class. She encouraged me to do so, and took time out of another lesson so that my cast and I could perform my master work! I will never forget that experience, and her belief in me has stayed with me always. Had that teacher stuck to any rules of conduct, and insisted on presenting the prescribed lesson plans, my passion for words would most likely have paid a price.

    I am envying you all of these amazing experiences that you are having, and I am enthralled by all of the advances in the field of education. Welcome back to blogging – I have missed you.

  2. Pingback: A message about learning ninjas… | Messages From My Journey

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