How do we go from toddlers and preschoolers asking questions about everything around them, to school-agers who hardly ask questions at all? What is the message being sent to students in the way we view and deliver teaching and learning in the standard classroom?
Our staff is reading articles about questioning and student engagement. When is a child truly engaged? What is our definition of student engagement?
With these question running through my head during Winter Break, I feel torn by what is expected of me as a teacher, and what I believe is best for the whole child in my classroom. Where is the balance? What is best for one child is not necessarily best for another. How do we get children to be engaged for true learning instead of pleasing the teacher and finding the right answer.
Some of the things I have implemented this year is the focus on effort vs. getting the right answer. The focus on learning vs. the right answer. The focus on effort vs. correct spelling. I have to say this again and again in my classroom. I find students slowly taking more risks and less fix-mindset, negative thinking. But I cannot do this alone.
How do we change the culture of school? How do we change a classroom into a learning/wonder/investigation studio?
I do not have the answers. I cannot begin to pretend to know how to make this change. But I know what I believe in my heart, and I am torn.
I am turning to my PLN, Twitter community to help me begin to find the answers to these questions. Please help me start the conversation. Please help me find the courage to move forward.