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Growing up is a big job, at least that’s what his dad said. And kindergarten, well, it was going to be sort of hard, but he was ready. He had a new backpack, a good break... Continue Reading
My son is growing up in a world much different than the one I experienced as a child. I worry that it's a bit more frightening. He has climate change and access to the wo... Continue Reading
With teachers road-weary from planning and implementing CCSS for math and English language arts and new online assessments on the way, it’s almost unthinkable that we are... Continue Reading
I think the case has been adequately pressed for educators to give consideration to the varied learning styles of students. Teachers are expected, and rightly so, to adap... Continue Reading
Angelo, I love your idea of the "un-classroom" and think that more teachers need to get rid of the fear of "breakable" lesson plans. As adults, we do have opportunities to learn from all the different situations we encounter so the world becomes our lab. We need to give students to opportunities for more of these unplanned encounters. Thanks for the comment. Melissa
Free-thinkers and problem-solvers: I wish I have more of these, instead of 'nice kids' who never ask a question or challenge a teacher. I like top think of 'unschooling' not as a radical alternative, but a shift in the teaching mindset. Think about how we adults learn outside of education: we learn things on the job, we talk to a tech support person, we borrow an idea from our friends and then modify it to suit our need etc. I'm not against structured lessons, but we have to build in 'breakable' lesson plans that could adapt to a new conversation, or an event that has just taken place etc. I have the fortune of obeserving very young children learn at their own pace in a Montessori class in a different school. It's a deliberately structured 'un-classroom,' if you know what I mean. The free-thinkers have a blast here, because the Montessori un-teacher does not insist that there is only one way, or one solution to solve something --and I'm talking math for 3 year olds, botany and music. In my class, I strive to make it less like a classroom and more like a lab.I am begining to see why 'outliers' could be motivated in such spaces. It's still within the walls of a school, but it's what we do inside that will un-school it. It's a work in progress...
Nice post. I have one thought about the "slow hedgehog"; I think a major obstacle to his "speeding up" (to continue the analogy)is simply a lack of knowledge (How can I become faster? I've been slow all of my life!)and the assumption that speeding up will be way too difficult! There is little glory in extinction!
For myself, I have defined introvert/extrovert according to how a particular individual energizes himself/herself. As an out-going introvert, I enjoy socializing, and am not afraid to lead a conversation or be the center of attention. However, I need significant "alone" time to create the energy I need for group interactions, which drain me. Two of my children were extroverts,energized by the time they spent with friends, and they always seemed to be surrounded by them. This energy is what my extroverted children needed to get through times when they were "drained" by being alone. As a teacher, I am careful not to be fooled by a student's initial interactions. It takes some time to observe them in individual and group work to determine which activity most energizes individual students.