It has been a couple months since my last posting. To be honest, my teaching journey, sort of, well, to be honest, took a little turn to the gloomy place of complacency and defeat—although smiling along the way. Being one to put lots of pressure on myself, the vision of this pioneering person in a completely new and funded environment became daunting and overwhelming. However, at the end of every murky journey, the light at the end of the tunnel comes in beautiful ways, and indeed the affirmations have poured in over the last few weeks. These affirmations shout out through student products which I have finally had time to look at and study. During this break, I have been able to think quietly and deeply about what all of this means and has meant to my 25 kids. In this environment in which I have created with the support of MANY others, students have had time to become thinkers who have definitely moved beyond just a brain full of random knowledge given to them in isolation and with no connection, to a place of novel creation and unencumbered risk taking. Confession: It was so much easier to not worry about such things and just give my kids cute “stuff” to do. (Trust, me–I did this for years.)
So in a nutshell—I’m feeling so rejuvenated and ready to keep moving forward!
And here’s what’s happening: Their writing speaks, they articulate thinking that is brave and forward, and although they are NEVER quiet in this space and they NEVER stop moving, the kids are learning and connecting the dots, and they have been doing it much to my failure to just stop and see it—- because of my pressure blindness.
What is the lesson here? It is that modern, innovative classroom spaces and tweaks to teaching craft are needed. Does one need a huge grant? NO! Just the courage and creativity to move beyond century old paradigms of space and delivery. Another confession: This blogging started to feel like a continual boast, but know that I am learning every step of the way, and my work is not a celebration of everything perfect, it is a study of where we are going and how we can do this together. To state that I have been humbled this year would be an understatement.
January is a new start, but for me a continuation of this travel; however, with eyes more open to what my kids are screaming to me on a daily basis, “We can do this, we know how, we need you to continue being our tour guide!!
Below are some examples of my great kids at work and the status of the Primary Innovation Studio:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Dkh9PuS4Ng (two girls taking about how they will change the world.)