Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Fly on the Wall

It feels good not to be needed at times. 

It feels good to be silent.

It feels good to be a fly on the wall.

On most days, at most times, this is what I strive for. 

Once a solid foundation of collaborative expectations is in place, 
getting out of the way is some of the best teaching I can do.  More and more as this year has gone by, I have heard amazing  thoughts pour out of the mouths of my students.

"How have you decided to begin your story?"

"Let's collaborate on an Elephant and Piggie book!"

"What fancy science words are most important?"

"Let's practice a few times so we can read smoothly!"

"I am connecting with people today!"

The time they spend interacting like this is so valuable and authentic. Sharing their thoughts at a student to student level can show a level of understanding that is almost impossible to assess with pencil and paper. Letting them interact is letting them learn.

My students need time to think and digest what they are hearing and feeling.

Sometimes a little but of quite thinking time, can go a long way.

My job is not to sit and talk at my students all day. If I do, I can guarantee that I will sound to them, just as Charlie Brown's teacher sounded to him.

As an educator, my job is to guide, coach, assist and allow time for what is needed. 

When I get out of the way, learning like this can happen:

I will stop standing in front of my students and start spending time as a fly on the wall.

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