I’ve been waiting for some blogging inspiration to surface in my own head since the close of the Reflective Teacher February Blog Challenge. I reread the purpose of my blog which began as a need to push my own desire to help connect my class to the world through discussion or literal connections with others using technology. This past week I was also reminded of the value of opening classroom doors to parents.
Student Engagement: Children are truly curious about the world around them. This weeks Time for Kids cover story was about the need for safe drinking water around the world. The level of active listening and questioning and sharing was what I dream of for every lesson. My guiding question was: How does understanding what is going on in Africa have anything to do with us? 9-10 year olds cared about the answers to this question. Don’t underestimate the importance of engaging topics and complex questions when it comes to deep learning. I am the door.
Connecting Students to the World: So far I have been successful connecting my students to their community by inviting in guest speakers. I really need to take the leap and set up a learning opportunity that allows them to connect across the U.S. or world. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing learning with others. I am the door.
Open Classrooms: On Friday morning I was quickly organizing last minute materials when I received a call from the office. Our school office administrator said that a Spanish speaking mother and her 18 year old Bilingual daughter would like to visit the classroom for a few hours to observe. I teach the child they love despite the exhausting behavioral and emotional challenges that are presented inside and outside my classroom every day. Many teachers do not like surprise guests. I am happy to share a day in the life of my classroom no matter what the guests initial intentions are about observing. I have nothing to hide and also think that if more people visited classrooms then the teaching profession would have greater respect. Fortunately, I was able to witness an amazing four hours of learning and appropriate behavior with this particular child. Potential witnessed by all. Don’t underestimate the value of parents as your partner. I am the door.