Hmm... Trying to collate and gel all the learning and ideas that I have experienced this summer is taking a bit of time. I read many powerful books that have challenged the way that I do business in my classroom. From Angela Maiers, A Passion Driven Classroom, The Book Whisperer by Donalynn Miller, Teaching With Intention by Debbie Miller, The Connected Educator by Sheryl Nassbaum-Beach and Lani Hall to Cafe by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. Through in a little, Making Thinking Visible by Ron Ritchhart and you have my summer of learning!! What a journey it has been. Although these titles and subjects differ they all had a common threads. Strategic teaching and student choice. Student choice has not always been easy for me but I found that last year I was ready to work and learn along side my students in a manner that I had never before done. It was liberating but it was challenging!
I have spent the past two weeks preparing my classroom for the arrival of my students. I have changed to design of the room in order to promote more questioning, more student choice and more wonder! By creating more intimate work areas with less harsh lighting I am hoping to create an environment in which student feels comfortable, empowered and more willing to take risks.
However, I think the most important change in the classroom is me. I have shifted my practice to allow for a more student centered environment, I am willing to learn along with my students, and to take risks myself. I begin this year with anticipation, excitement and a measure of fear! But that's OK, being uncomfortable makes it possible for me to relate to my students, to understand how they might feel during their learning journey.
I am looking forward to the challenges, rewards and excitement that this year will bring! Happy New Year Eve!