We all want to make a change. As educators there are many changes that we can make. I believe one of the most important changes we can make is to change the way our students think. Teaching and encouraging students to be critical thinkers. Providing them with thought provoking questions and expecting thoughtful and creative answers.
Below is a video I was just shown to me at a session focusing greatly on appropriate education and creating success for all students.
This video resonated greatly with me as I am always looking for ways to engage all students and create positive learning experiences. While our educational system does not seem to moving toward some of the possibilities outlined here by Sir Ken Robinson, I couldn't help but thinking if I can within my own classroom.
One part of the video that stood out to me was how we are expecting students to focus when their lives are full of distraction. Yes, there are ways keeping student's attention by changing activities often, asking recurring questions, and even changing class duration. I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but I strongly believe the best, and maybe only, way to have students focus is to engage them in something that matters in their life. Something that is relevant. If students find value in an issue or topic their engagement will increase, and therefore they will be more focused.
Now, I often integrate technology into my classroom in a way that will engage each student, and offer choices when possible. This ensures each student can connect to what we are discussing or exploring and display their knowledge in a way that makes sense to them. This allows me to see what they are truly able of accomplishing. Using technology in classrooms, allowing students to explore things that matter to them, and encouraging them to think about the world they live in will, like Sir Ken Robinson said allow students to find themselves.
The most important thing for us to teach is and will always be the kids. Allow your students to become engrossed in topics or issues, and let them go to work. Be comfortable to get out of there way. The more versatile we are, as educators, the more engaged they are, as students, the more valuable learning will become... for everyone!