The title of my book was chosen because as I was writing the first draft of a chapter, I shared a story about how my students wanted to write so badly, they were searching for any additional time within our very structured schedule. One student's solution was asking me, "Can we skip lunch and keep writing?" What can we as educators do to keep our students excited about learning?
The answer is simple, we must give them the power to make choices about what they will learn, how they will learn, and how they will be assessed on their learning. If you have no idea where to begin, the first place that I always turn is to my students. Ask them. Let them give you feedback. When you combine their feedback with your expertise as an educator, you've got a winning combination.
Although we are the content specialists and strategists, our role is no longer the sole disseminator of information. They have that in the palm of their hand, 24/7; they don't need us for that anymore. We must be the facilitator who guides them through all of the information and provides them with the individual support and opportunities they need to become the most successful student possible.
Those of you who read this blog know that I am very passionate about student-directed learning. Here are a few of the posts that I have written that give you a peek into my classroom to see what this really looks like when implemented:
- Students as Teachers
- Best Laid Plans...of a 5th Grade Class
- The Transformative Power of Writing
- When Things Click
- Weebly to the Rescue
- How We Love to Learn
- In Defense of Student-Directed Learning
I hope this gives you some inspiration or causes you to take some time to reflect on your teaching practice. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask them. Our classroom is an open book.