Friday, March 19, 2010

Professional Connections are as powerful as Mother Nature

Sometimes a fresh pair of ears and eyes is what you need. I have been struggling with what emergent topic my students have been interested in exploring. I have been saying that I haven’t sensed a strong pull of direction from them. My assistant and I have been thinking about it and discussing it over the past couple of weeks, somewhat perplexed.

The other day I hosted a workshop in my classroom and was discussing this dilemma with our Educational Consultant. She asked me what sorts of activities I had been providing and what provocations I had put out to spark interest.

While explaining this to her, someone who isn’t in my classroom every day, it suddenly became much clearer to me. The children with their tornado game, children using the K’nex to make weather fairy wands, a parent telling me that her son was talking about the temperature changing outside and asking about thermometers, being frustrated by having to play inside due to long periods of rain, noticing how it felt when the sun finally came out…..

And then this incredible storm hit us!! We have been out school for the last week. Many children have experienced the horrendous winds, the loss of power and can see the devastation as they drive around town. The topic of Weather was not only a clear interest to the children before the storm, but now it is what everyone is talking about. I’m sure the children have many questions and many stories to share.

Even without this storm, though, it was clearly on the minds of the children. It just took me trying to explain my class interests to another colleague who isn’t so close to the situation to see this more clearly.

I encourage you to make these professional connections. Being reflective is such an important part of our role as teachers. Sometimes asking a colleague the right question and dialoguing can help her see herself and her class in a new way.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. I started this blog to share my stories, my successes and my struggles, but, I’d also like to use it to form these important connections.

Until then, my bags are full of books about weather and until school reopens, I’m going to enjoy this sunshine!!

1 comment:

  1. The objective observer can often inspire reflection, but only in someone who is willing to use reflection as a professional development tool. I would venture to guess that your reflective practice would have gotten you to your destination eventually - but it is a wonderful thing when you have someone to reflect against...
    Your ed. consultant