Monday, February 2, 2015

Let Them Pick Their Passion

The vision of our school is for students to Learn AND have fun.  Anyone who knows me knows it is an "and" not an "or."  As a staff we discussed this, and it is important to point out that this is our vision, not just my vision.  How the "and" looks varies by classroom, and this is something I have really embraced over the past month.

We have some teachers who have embraced Dave Burgess' Teach Like A PIRATE style and are creating engaging experiences in their classrooms.  I would want to be in these classes.  Others have been passionate about Project Based Learning, and I would want to be in these classes as well.  Others are embracing the work of Alan November and his idea of Who Owns The Learning? These students are creating their own instructional videos for the world to see. We have flipped classes, blended learning, station rotation models, you name it, someone is implementing it.  I want to be in those classes.

You may ask, is this good for kids and good for your school? Seem like a lot of different things going on. I say yes, and here is why.  Our kids are learning AND having fun.  Just as important, our teachers are using the methods in which THEY are passionate about to achieve this vision.  If they are passionate about it, they will work hard to make it better, and in the end, create a better learning environment for our kids.

I love walking around our building and stopping in the classes to see what is happening.  I usually do not want to leave.  Fortunately most of the students feel that way too.

Big Walnut Intermediate is a 5-6 building in Sunbury, Ohio.  The school has 530 students and 31 full-time teachers.

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