My Five Pillars
Over the course of the past two years I have been reading a lot of books about innovation in education and how we as teachers need to change the paradigm of what makes a “great” classroom environment. Stealing from many and making them my own, here is my list of the top five things I need to do to make the best possible learning experiences available to my students:
1. Fun – deliver instruction and create opportunities where students enjoy learning, see the value in what I’m teaching and connect their knowledge to the world in which they live.
2. Freedom – get out of the way and let students use the skills they have been taught to develop solutions to problems they care about. Make time for this process to be iterative!
3. Believe – have faith that students are going to use their time wisely, treat each other with respect and do the best they possibly can.
4. Honesty – you don’t have to know everything, you don’t have to be perfect and the process could very well have more value than the product.
5. Connectedness – no one does it alone. Create opportunities where it is ok to ask questions, help each other, learn from anyone and share your process and solutions with as many people as possible.
I feel strongly that every teacher needs to do all they can to make these characteristics a part of every class they teach. Every student deserves to go to school and feel comfortable, challenged and enthusiastic about what they are learning. They should feel that what they are doing actually adds value to their life and to society. The same reason why I joined the teaching profession 20+ years ago!