Our classroom hasn’t always been as it is today. Just a few years back the only tools available were paper, pencils, crayons and markers. The only choices available were made by the teacher. The way I think about choice in the classroom has evolved. Choice allows students to work with passion, independence and purpose. Choice builds life long learners and this is something I wanted to instill my students.
Finding the Support to Make the Change~
I didn’t make these changes all by myself. I’ve had the support of my Personal Learning Network (PLN). These are educators who push my thinking and share their journeys openly. I find them in my building, my district, neighboring districts and all around the globe. The best part is I can always find them on twitter and on their blogs. This is my learning community, I feel safe to ask questions, take risk and share my journey. The big question became "How do I build this learning community in my classroom?"
Building a Learning Community~
A strong community is key in building a learning community. We allowed ourselves the time to learn to respect others, our space and communication. We can’t assume kids know the meaning of these words, they’re just too important. We have to take the time to teach the students what it means to be a member of a trusting learning community. It means feeling safe to take risk, try new things and to follow their needs as a learners.
Changing the way I approach my classroom and my instruction took conscience decisions; an open mindset, bravery and trust. These decisions gave me permission to follow the kids and what I know about teaching and learning. These decisions released a passion I didn’t know I had. As educators we know ourselves, we know our students and we know what kids need. If you’re in education for the kids, you’re following the needs of the kids and trusting yourself and the students how could you go wrong? I truly don’t think you can!
Please Join Me~
Making these changes changed the way I plan, teach, meet with students and the way I see my role as teacher. I hope you will share your journey with me and return to hear more about our classroom journey.