Monday, February 27, 2012

What do you do when things fall apart?

We've all had those days...or weeks...where it's like our classes have had an invasion of the body snatchers. Students seem to have lost focus and form new, bizarre habits. So what do you do about it? We had such an invasion recently and I turned the tables on the students. I asked them for some solutions. We had a great discussion about the norms and routines they had set. Then, we all knew the most powerful way that we can improve ourselves is through some personal reflection. My learners had raised some ideas to ponder and they began writing. I thought I would share some of the things that they wrote about the learning environment that they had designed.
"In our learning environment...we can teach other people by doing amazing projects that teach life skills."
"Our learning environment helps me learn to help people, just like they help me." 
"We learn better this way. We're all teachers and students so we learn more and learn faster. If we have any trouble, we go and fix it ourselves." 
"...have an environment where we can learn, not just from books,but from our PLN." 
"Working in groups helps me learn better."
"My classroom is the coolest place that I've ever been to in my entire life."
"I keep earning A's on my report card because I know this classroom works." 
I could keep going, but I think they have made their point. They value our class and how we learn every day. They understand the power that they have to learn from and teach one another. They see the relevance of the learning they are doing each day.

So next time you have one of "those days," take some clues from your students.Give them time to reflect and and find solutions. As with so many things, our students have answers as to how to solve problems and meet challenges. We've just got to give them the opportunity to do it.

photo credit: _StaR_DusT_ via photopin cc

1 comment:

  1. That is great advice! Simple and yet so hard for us as teachers to slow down and do. Thanks