First, I want to thank you. I’ve loved your many ideas for organizing my pantry, throwing my five year-old’s princess party, and introducing the blue-Dawn-and-vinegar trick to my shower. Not to mention the hilarious memes and marshmallow treats.
Your resourcefulness has carried over into my classroom through the years, too:
Like the sponge of glue,
the hand sanitizer bathroom passes,
the visually-appealing display of learning objectives,
oh, and that fantastic example of comma use that had my whole class giggling.
And of course, you know you’re my go-to for holiday art crafts and kid-made decorations.
But I have to tell you, I’m worried. I’m worried about those ultra popular pins that circulate because they have all the glitz and appearance of learning, but that really promote something…else.
–all with an adorable flair.
Of course, you and I both know that truly inspiring, learning-based pins are out there. Why, I recently came across a whole slew of fabulous self-assessments to help students become more metacognitively aware. But as I searched out those pins, I waded through what felt like an endless supply of teacher-centered fluff.
I must say, I’m not blaming you. After all, I’m the one who sometimes gets mesmerized by all things color-coded and lovely. But “it’s not you, it’s me” aside, now that I’ve identified the problem, I can move forward. I can reflect. I can ask why. I can rethink even some of the most commonly accepted practices. And I can guide my future curative efforts with questions based on what matters most, including:
- Will this help me better understand and reach my students?
- Will this enhance student ownership over learning?
- Will this encourage the 4 C’s (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, or creativity)?
- Will this help me personalize student learning?
- Will this help me pursue greater challenges as a professional?
- Will this help my students better understand their own thinking and learning processes? (metacognition)
- Will this help all my students to better access resources in and out of the classroom?
- Will this help my students investigate concepts?
- Is this centered more on empowering student-directed learning, or on getting students to sit still and listen?
- Is this trying to solve a problem that I could actually just open up to my students for discussion instead?
- Will this help my students grow as leaders?
- Will this help my students build an authentic audience and/or community?
- Will this help me reinforce my core values as a professional?
So thanks for everything, and I look forward to richer pins to come on my education board!
featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto