I haven’t done a “Wish I Had Written That” in awhile, and this came across my view today:
Someone posted this, from my book, sort of a bill of rights for students. Glad this piece is catching some attention. What do you think? pic.twitter.com/oZh87qRWVb
— Tom Rademacher (@MrTomRad) July 28, 2017
Currently, I’m framing my Canvas classes for next year, and the overarching concern/message, (the thing that maybe someday will be the cornerstone of my doctoral thesis) is how to help students support their own learning, and not accept negativity or peer negativity/learned helplessness. Or something like that. The subtle and not-so-subtle messages students press on one another may be one of the most damaging and obstructionist practices I’ve witnessed. The illuminating moment flashed when a student asked me last year between the difference between the tech academy students and “regular” students: when I realized that the tech academy kids never made each other feel bad for wanting to learn something. That simple. And how do we build those communities when the community rejects being built? All the ice breakers and relationship building in the world won’t help unless there are cohorts of students/teacher teams, and the feeling of belonging. The ‘academy’ students move through their years at my school as a community, a family, and when the ‘regular’ part of the school had teacher teams, it helped build that, too, when the teams were allowed common planning or encouraged to meet. Things have gotten much more isolating over the past few years, so here is looking forward to those changes. (Is it a change when we used to have something and then get it back? Question for another time.)
And how do we build those communities when the community rejects being built…if the ‘community’ simply sees working together more like gentrification than a Seedfolks moment? All the ice breakers and relationship building in the world won’t help unless there are cohorts of students/teacher teams, and consistency in scheduling. The past two years, we have students changing core teachers mid year now, and it’s really hard on them. If Hattie says relationships impact student learning, then we need to listen to this and take steps to protect the bonds that students and their teachers have: we’re moving back to teams, thank heavens, so hopefully some of the issues that were solved once at our school will be solved again.
Circling back to the spark: before I saw Tom Rademacher’s tweet, on my Canvas page I crafted this draft of the promises we need to make to one another in my class this year:
It is a draft: it gets a little wordy and mixes messages of both attitude and product. I’m still processing the 40 Book Challenge and using Three Teachers Talk as a guide and trying to figure out the most important ingredients for next year’s secret sauce.
For now, I’ll let this percolate for a bit, and enjoy a beautiful Saturday…any ideas are welcome!
You have the right to be an introvert, as long as you feel that your voice is heard.
You have the right to be an extrovert, as long as you allow yourself and other mental oxygen.
…thinking of more….