As I continue to change, tweak, type, and retype my philosophy of education. I think it is again time to critically examine an “I believe” statement.
I believe that my role as a teacher is to meet my students on their level, and find a respectful way to promote learning and critical thinking.
You might remember a blog I wrote last year after a presentation from Saskatchewan storyteller Kevin Mackenzie. During his discussion he said some things that really stuck with me. He referred to children as “learning ninjas” who are constantly learning form the world around them, taking it all in, exploring, asking questions…. and then they come to school…. Suddenly, they are forced to sit still, be quite, slow down, stop taking in the world around them. What’s wrong with this picture? How did this happen? How is this still happening in so many classrooms? Well… I think we can place some of the blame on this idea of “classroom management.” A quite, structured classroom with rows of children working hard at their desks is not something you would see in my classroom! I believe in the value of collaboration, noise, hands on experiences, and discovery. So what do I believe I can do to transition those learning ninjas into my classroom? “I believe that my role as a teacher is to meet my students on their level, and find a respectful way to promote learning and critical thinking.” Welcome their enthusiasm! Direct it towards learning together, challenge them to find the answers to their own questions, and provide cues for deeper critical thinking. Embrace the passion those ninjas hold!
So what am I forgetting? This sounds to good to be true… Well, some have told me that administration will be opposed to such “chaos” but with the new trend in inquiry learning I’m not sure that I buy that. I have heard the argument that parents aren’t interested in discovery learning, they want academic results. Once again, Im not buying it. I think that what parents want, is for their children to be happy at school. (At least, this has been my experience at the elementary level) So I must be missing something?….. What are your thoughts?