No, not a holly and jolly season, but definitely a hustle and bustle one. ‘Tis the season you feel rushed to complete courses, to ready students for exams and standardized tests, to prepare for report cards, and possibly hold end-of-year parent conferences. But May is also a month in schools with it’s own kind of tipping point, when preparations for next year begin to weigh in on your efforts just to wrap up the current year.
This thought comes from one of you who wrote in a post: “It’s that time of year! My 8th– grade Storytellers are beginning to train my 7th grade Tiger Techs! My 7th graders are nearly ready to graduate and become Storytellers. I have taught them Mind Mapping and some basic photography techniques to set the tone for their training and subsequent roles as Storytellers.”
Then another post celebrated students from Carroll Magnet Middle school who presented at a STEM conference while two additional posts announced that students from FDR and Armstrong presented their tech savvy at the 60in60 Technology Conference at Bucks IU. Photos from these events showed a lot of smiles and a lot of pride.
It strikes us that these posts are harbingers of another kind of change, the very transformation of classrooms and schools we talk about so much. The posts report on the work of students in your classes—students in new roles, carrying out new kinds of responsibilities—students sharing and teaching not only their own peers but other teachers as well. It strikes us that these students are doing real work, not just preparing for their futures but competently carrying out important and necessary tasks that affect their learning communities now. John Dewey would be proud.
By completing your Fast Fact Survey this week, one hundred and sixteen of you created another picture of your changing classrooms. Would any of you have predicted this a year ago? The question asked what instructional strategies you used in your classrooms the day before you answered the survey. This glimpse certainly indicates that not only are students taking on new roles and doing new things, but that they have the opportunity to work very differently. With new means and ends in their lives, there is a real opportunity for better futures.