Once Again: Collaboration and Mentors–THE SECRET.

Once Again:  Collaboration and Mentors--THE SECRET.

You just can’t do it alone. You just can’t do it alone. You just can’t do it alone. Pioneering a successful 21st Century Learning environment for 7 years olds cannot be done alone. Guess I got off track, because I have been trying to do it by myself for the past month. Figured that I could just hide and make choices that would be best for kids and give me the outcomes that I was hoping for. Not a great choice. Low outcomes. Hiding only made my soul become insecure, my students’ products show only surface thinking, and the air in the classroom—well, err—not as joyful and fulfilling for me or them. I knew I had to get back on the collaboration train, I needed to connect with my mentor. Luckily, I had that opportunity a few times this week. Once with group of four teachers across elementary grade levels, then with my mentor (in the picture), and serendipitously with a 7th grade teacher friend. Who would have “thunk” that I could learn something about 7 year olds from a middle school teacher….guess what? We are having the same challenge with our kids.

That challenge is quality product, driven by critical thinking. After meeting with all of these folks, I am ready to dive in headfirst on Monday. Many of you have most likely watched Ron Berger’s, The Story of Austin’s Butterfly. This was suggested to me along with a book which I have ordered, Design, Make, Play: Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators¬†by Margaret Honey. Again, I have excitement running through my veins instead of a dread of continuing alone. My middle school teacher friend and I are going to have our students join together and support one another through the process of revision, critique, interview skills, communication, critical thinking, collaboration, AND most importantly: listening. ALL OF THIS from planned, trusted and genuine collaboration.

From these folks, it is clear that I will: Create an environment that embraces and understands the perseverance and stamina it takes to create products that inspire.

Also, through this collaborative time, I was coached and assured that I am doing many things right, although my “hyper reflectiveness” might be saying otherwise. The journey is enjoyable with others.

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