For the month of March, I'll be writing with all you in the Slice of Life community. Disclaimer: I'll be writing every day so the writing will be raw and a bit messy most days.
Maybe you've been teaching for years or maybe your new to the classroom. Either way, you know the feeling of pride swelling up in you as you watch your students grab the lesson and lift it to a higher level and then beam in their own pride at what they've accomplished.
This is what happened to me today. You'll be surprised to know after 26 years of teaching; this was a first time for me. Not because I've never experienced this with the students in our classroom because that is far from accurate. I strive each day for this familiar intrinsic celebration.
This year isn't any different. I am still working to help my students grab the lessons, lift the purpose, effectiveness, and, then take ownership.
But today was the first time I realized this year is different. This year I am working as an instructional technology coach. This year I am working with teachers as colleagues and as learners.
Today when I walked into a first-grade classroom to deliver a lesson on branding your blog, and the classroom teacher greeted me eagerly saying, "I was thinking, I'd like the students to make a poster or something after OUR lesson. I want them to have something that they can use to remember what WE talked about in the lesson."
I knew I wasn't going to be simply "delivering a lesson." She was grabbing the lesson and taking ownership. She didn't ask my permission. She planned to be apart of the lesson. She owned the lesson. As her coach, I was swelling with pride. I saw the growth in "my student," and I couldn't be more proud!
After WE finished the lesson, the first-graders went about creating posters to represent the brand of their blog. The classroom teacher moved from student to student, smiling at the personalization her students gave their work. Some students worked in sketchbooks, some worked in Pixie, and others worked in Pic Kids. She marveled at the engagement and quality of work.
I stood back and watched it all knowing it was the classroom teachers' ownership that lifted the lesson. I realized these learners were creating, problem-solving, and owning their work. I know this level of independence doesn't come from an occasional visit from me. This teacher and these kids have been taking control of their learning all year long!
Thank you first-grade for sharing your learning environment and creative powers with me today and for working so hard every day!