March #SOL16 Day 11
I had the pleasure of spending the last two days with colleagues in my district as we learned and grew from some really special shared experiences. We were given concentrated time to talk, read, observe, share, discuss, and eventually craft belief statements that reflected a culmination of our time together.
An essential element present in both days was observation of students in the classroom. What struck me from the minute we entered these classrooms was the pure, unfiltered curiosity emanating from these children. The work they did as they buzzed about the room playing, investigating, and discovering was intense.
As I write my slice this morning I am watching the sun slowly rise. As this new day dawns I can’t stop thinking about yesterday….about those children. We teachers composed our statements based on our practices, what we know about teaching and learning and what our deep seeded beliefs are. But mostly we based them on what we see in front of us every day. Our students.
The sky is getting brighter now. The sun isn’t quite out, but oranges and blues have replaced the black colors that hung over the lake a short time ago. With this illumination outside my window I am experiencing more clarity in my thinking. Our students were telling us important things about who they are as developing people and what they need from us. And we were listening.
Here are some of the belief statements that our students crafted right before our very eyes yesterday as we stood, knelt down and sat beside them…
“This sand feels cool as it passes through my hands! My teachers believe it is important for me to learn by feeling.”
“This house I keep trying to build keeps falling down. My teacher has unlimited patience with me and will keep coming back to give me some ideas for my house. She believes I can figure it out, so she won’t do it for me.”
“We have class pets. One of them died. We kept Bubbles the fish when he died so we could investigate what happens during decomposition. My teacher isn’t afraid to let us in on the process of death.”
“I love the thrill of playing in the water table. I pour this wonderful liquid from one bottle to another. I see how much each container will hold. It’s much easier with the new funnel my teacher gave us today. My teachers believe it is important for me experiment like a real scientist and she will provide all the materials I need to make that happen.”
“A bunch of us created a farm in our class. We made pens for the cows, sheep and pigs. We also planted crops – pretend crops of course. The next day when we came to school our teacher had gone out and bought real seeds for the carrots, peas and corn that we drew! Our teacher really pays attention and knows that we are serious about our play…our work.”
“I like to play with the trains. I want to play with them every day. My teacher believes I should have the choice about where I play each day so she doesn’t worry that I haven’t explored any of the other areas in the room….yet. Instead, she comes by me and listens to what I’m doing so she understands where I’m coming from better.”
These kids. We learn from them every. Single. Day. We are listening.