One of my goals for the year is to open up the walls of our classroom to our community. What I mean, and I know this sounds quite ‘uber-romantic’, is that I really want to engage the students, our learning, the content, our approaches to things, our challenges and our trials with the people outside our little box at school.
So far I have this blog (along with our class blog). I’ve given parents the opportunity to comment on their childs strengths and learning styles. I want to connect each student up with a significant adult that can partner with them in reflecting on their efolio and I’m looking for other classes and schools to form some ‘buddy’ type relationships with.
More transparency has not always been something I, and many teachers, feel comfortable with and most of the reason has to do with fear. It can lead to conversations that become critical questioning, especially as a teaching and learning shift happens in our schools.
This post by Jeff Utecht, on his blog – ‘The Thinking Stick’, has helped me realise how important it is for us to engage and ‘re-educate’ our community about this shift – especially as they become more involved.
“Never before in the history of education have we been given the task to not only educate the children they send us everyday, but to re-educate a whole community on what it means to learn in today’s world. What it means to collaborate, to read, to write, to communicate, to research. If you can get your community to relearn you can change the system.”
This places incredible responsibility on our shoulders. What will I do as a classroom teacher? What will we do as a school? The adventure continues.