The school year is starting for educators and students across the country and I wanted to write a post about something I intend to do this year and I hope other will join me. I need to change my perspective.
I recently wrote a post about my newest classroom endeavor. I am bringing 20 Time to my classroom and I cannot wait to share all of the amazing things my students will be doing. Part of making 20 Time possible in my classes was finding 35 days in my curriculum to carve out so my students could work every Friday and have a week to present their projects in June. I thought this was going to be a daunting task. I felt that I had already stripped my curriculum to the bare bones and everything in there HAD to be taught. I was way off.
I approached this task with one simple question, "Is _____ creating a better learner?" Instead of looking at curriculum as something I needed to cover, I wanted to focus on the lesson plans I had created and ask that question for every single day I had planned. I had to change my perspective. By asking that question, I was able to carve out half of the days I needed pretty easily. I quickly removed a movie and a project that were interesting, but were not creating a better learner. I then had some tough decisions as I looked at areas of my curriculum that I liked, but I found to be redundant. I parted with some lessons I truly loved, but knew didn't add anything new to the conversation.
After over an hour of pouring over my lessons, I was able to find the days I needed and I was very happy with my slimmed down curriculum. I felt I was still covering everything that was important and that my students would gain more from the 20 Time than doing another project focusing on the same concept taught twice or three times. My change in perspective was required to create a stronger curriculum for my students and provide them an opportunity to become better learners as they explore their projects.
I invite all of you to change your perspective and ask, "Is ______ creating a better learner?"
Have a great school year!
Nick, What if you didn't think of it as "my" curriculum. When I was a classroom teacher, I never looked at it that way. The fact of the matter is, the state set my curriculum and the district provided the raw materials (i.e. books) and the program of studies. While that sounds sad, it was very liberating for me. Instead of thinking I need to create curriculum, I looked at my role as one of providing access to the curriculum. Think facilitator more than deliverer. Once I freed myself of worrying about "what" to teach, I was able to focus more on "how".ReplyDelete
I'm sure your there in practice, but your use of "my curriculum" just struck me as I read.
Keep on keepin' on and thanks for continuing to be such as open learner.