I am back again to link up with The Primary Gal for the second chapter of Learn Like a Pirate.
I felt like this chapter was speaking directly to me. It had all of my concerns about a student led classroom very clearly stated; the first two being my biggest concerns. I am definitely a control freak. I am that person who has to have things in their place, color coated, labeled, taught or led a specific way, etc. The idea of giving over control to my little firsties, no matter how cute and capable they are, is terrifying to me. I have gotten better with this over the last two years as we transitioned to Daily 5 but this will still be the area I will need to work on the most because I do want them to be risk takers, to try new things when it comes to problem solving and creating.
A second area of concern is with failure. I don't handle that well. I don't like when I fail at something that affects my students. I don't like when they are at the other end. It makes them seem like little guinea pigs. Solarz makes an excellent point here though. Those moments of failure are excellent teaching moments. Students need to see their teachers handle mistakes gracefully and they need to see it demonstrated as a learning experience so they can do the same with their mistakes as they travel through their education.
One line that he uses towards the end of the chapter stuck with me. He says; "...children learn best when they are encouraged and empowered to explore their passions and curiosities." This is so true. We need to give them those opportunities to be challenged, make mistakes, and learn from them. They need to explore in their learning. Being hands on and presenting what they have learned to their classmates is a way that they can be encouraged and empowered in the classroom. When we give them that freedom they develop the confidence they need to dive into their passions and the many things they are curious about. It brings learning to life in the classroom. Hopefully by reminding myself of this each day I will be able to let go a lot more so that I can make my student led classroom a success.
Have a happy Friday!