Thursday, July 24, 2014

Let's Experiment #edchat

Parenting is full of awesome new adventures every single day. My son is three and has decided that every answer I give has the complete and total possibility of being wrong. "Maybe it is" is his response when I tell him something g is not the way he thinks it is or something is not possible. He constantly questions and suggests that my answer might not be correct. For some, this could be maddening, but I've learned to turn it into something fun for us.

I taught Leo the word Experiment. Sometimes I tell him we will do an experiment to see which one if us is correct. Yesterday at the park had a perfect example. Here was the exchange,

Leo: Daddy, to down the slide with me.
Dad: I'm too big for the slide. I will get stuck.
Leo: Maybe you won't. Do a 'speriment. 
Dad: OK, let's see. (Fearfully goes down the slide, but thankfully does not get stuck.)
Leo: I told you! You didn't get stuck! (Gleefully runs around enjoying his moment of rightness.)

I look at this moments and the other moments where he tried out ideas of his own and learned the answer and it makes me excited. Even when his idea did not work out, he sometimes still questioned my answer and tried to think of other alternatives. Other times he accepted the new knowledge and moved to the next shiny object that got his attention. This is what learning is all about. Where has this yearning for knowledge and understanding gone in our students and our teachers?

For teachers, how often do we choose not to try something new because others have said it will not work? How often have we told students not to do something because we thought it might not work? 

20 Time has allowed my students to try things and fail. I saw it first hand and it was glorious. What about teachers though? How often are they willing to experiment and try new things? How will they learn if they never try and fail? 

I encourage all teachers out there to try and experiment this new school year. Take the ideas you have always wanted to try and the ideas others have said would fail and experiment. Make the attempt and do not be out off by failure. Learn from each experiment and grow as a teacher. Each failure will only bring you closer to a huge success later. 


  1. Ha, what an inquiring young fella. Good to see you embracing his lack of trust in you ;)

    I sort of experimented last year with a classroom economy. I got the idea from a Rafe Esquith book and after I worked out all the details of how I wanted to do it and implemented it (which went pretty well for a first try), I found a website that basically had done all the work that I went through and prepackaged the entire classroom economy idea for easy implementation. Wish I found it a few weeks earlier but it was good to struggle through what I thought would and wouldn't work.

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  3. What a brilliant idea!
    *Adds "teach him/her 'experiment' word" to his "If I ever have kids" list*


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