Over the past two days I met with three of the guest bloggers to talk over their ideas. I quickly realized that my role was not to do the talking but to listen and ask questions. The conversation was remarkable and the students schooled the teacher.
Listen, these students shared that they want to be heard. They want the opportunity to share their perspectives and have their thoughts and opinions matter.
Choice was a consistent theme in our discussion. Choice in topics of study, project guidelines and due dates. These students value their extracurricular activities (enjoyment, life-long skills, specific interests) and wanted to better balance their schedules to accomplish learning goals and extracurricular.
Passion was a topic that made them all jump out of their seats! Maybe they're a passionate bunch to begin with, but these students want and dream of opportunities to pursue their passions- in 4th grade none the less!
I walked away from these meetings reminded again just how important it is to have these discussions with students. In this day where teacher evaluations and school letter grade ratings are dependant upon student's standardized test scores, we cannot lose focus on student learning and what is important to students. Many of the ideas, suggestions and dreams these students shared are easily attainable, we just need to stop talking and listen more.
If you are a teacher reading this post, I challenge you to ask your students what are your dreams for education? They are dreams worth dreaming.
I would like to thank the three students mentioned above who completely inspired a very lethargic teacher/blogger to blog again.