With the combination of knowing that educators in our own division are opening their classrooms to students tomorrow, and reading Joan Young’s post on expectations, it made me really think about this process that we go through every year. There are still many educators that simply tell students the “rules” of the classroom, yet more teachers are talking about how students are helping develop these expectations and have “ownership” over the process. I guess I always wonder about that notion because many classrooms come up with very similar rules that contain notions of “respect others, respect yourself, etc.”, which I think are important things to discuss to help build character, but are they the things we should be starting our year off with? If you were a teacher in a school, or an employee in a business, how inspired would you be the first day going over the “rules”, whether you help make them or not? I have always just felt uncomfortable with this notion but was never sure why.
Then a lightbulb moment.
How about the notion of asking students what type of work that they want to do in the year? What if we started off the year asking kids what success would look like to them and they having them discuss the environment that they would need to be successful? Why not have them envision the projects or type of learning that they could do in the year and then have them think about what they need to be successful? This is obviously somewhat age appropriate, but I guess I would think that I would LOVE if a principal asked me as a teacher about the things that I would envision doing in my classroom with students and then asking me how they, and others, could support me in being successful in this process. Many educators would be blown away by this and probably it would help to build a much better environment within your school. Do you think it could work with kids?
How are you going to inspire your kids to think about the possibilities of their learning on the first day? How you are going to let them know how you will support them?
I think it is definitely worth the conversation.