What could possibly happen if we valued the seed thought of a child?
I was asked, "What do you do with a child that sits at the desk staring at a blank page?"
This question was asked as a response to the expectation that students will be able to plan their own lessons on YouPlanIt Classroom. More specifically, if there are students that don't know what to do with a blank page (after being given instructions) how on earth is YouPlanIt Classroom going to help these students plan their own lessons?
Here are some ideas that stand out to me as being potential barriers to the student's progress. First, let's consider our own experiences when asked to do something that we were not prepared for or had little background knowledge of. It's really hard to produce meaningful work when the context is alien to you. You had little idea about the concept, to begin with, and got lost after the first few minutes of instruction. It can be exhausting and embarrassing. Sometimes our kids simply are not coping with the content and are already lost before they get started! Our kids are asked to do things they have little or no aptitude for and are steered into a direction that conflicts with their natural abilities. But, what if we were able to tap into the natural abilities of our students and use the curriculum simply as tools to express these talents and abilities? It is possible, of course.
Passion Changes Everything!
In our classrooms, we need to recongnise that every single child is a resource of extraordinary insight, creativity, hope, innovative ideas, and passion. Yes, even the trodden down horrible kid we wish wasn't in our classroom! On the whole, I think we make poor use of our student's talents and have little trust in the validity of their thinking. Sometimes I feel like we, as teachers, are the biggest culprit of stopping our students find their way in this world because we control so much of what they do and think at school. I'm not putting aside the need to show strong leadership in placing expectations before our kids but I am suggesting that maybe the pathway to these expectations can be harnessed in a better way. How about zooming in on the seed thought of a child and watch it grow into something magnificent, or not?
Humans are dynamic, emotional, organic beings that want to find meaning and purpose in life. Our children are no different. Disengagement in school can often be traced to students that find little meaning and purpose in what they do. YouPlanIt sets out to change that and places the context for learning firmly in the hands of the students. When we harness the passion and interests of our students they are better equipped to handle obstacles and persist when things get tough. Wouldn't it be amazing for our kids to go through school discovering things about themselves so when they leave they have a strong sense of who they are and what they can do?
YouPlanIt makes this possible.
Your comments are always welcome. Link