As the new school year approaches, I am reflecting on the last and what changes to make for this one to be more successful. Specifically, if implementing a "thinking classroom" with VNPS & VRG (ugh - the acronyms and appropriated terms here do not make me happy), I need to find a way of making my intentions more obvious to students whose initial reaction is to push back because this is not how they have learned to do school. The choice of opening day activity is important to me but more so will be the connections students can make when reflecting on the implementation of that activity. I want them to see that the result was made better from working in a group. I want them to understand that they each have a voice and that their contributions are all important. I want them to hear why I made the teacher moves I did and why I likely did not answer their questions directly. I want them to think about what they are learning, but also about how they are learning it. How being uncomfortable is not necessarily a bad thing. How not knowing the right path to take should not make them feel lost. How important it is to be able to listen to others' ideas and how important their own contributions are. And that throughout it all, I have their best interests at heart and will do my utmost to ensure that they all understand the material more deeply than they would through a lecture.
All of this is difficult for me. My not-as-shy-as-I-used-to-be but still shy and introverted self has a hard time approaching these kinds of conversations. This model of learning is about playing the long game whereas I *need* my students to see the benefits before they actually feel the benefits. I need this for them, but I really need this for me.
Now, back to summer :)