Innovation, Inspiration


I have a child in my class who must keep moving.  He has more energy than you can imagine, snacks and wanders whiles he works and is the very definition of ‘if I had half of his energy….’

We are currently in the throws of our PYP Exhibition – the culminating project for fifth graders in IB PYP Schools.  It is awesome.  The basis of our inquiry is an inquiry into how our passions inspire us as learners, spark our creativity and help us contribute to our community.  This child’s passion is being physically active. (No? Really!?)  As part of the exhibition, we set each child up with a mentor – another member of faculty from all over the school – art teacher, head master, 2nd grade teacher, physics teacher – they are all in.  The mentor for this boy is the Director of Outdoor Education.  Perfect fit.

We are a few weeks into our project and most kids have had a couple of meetings.  Yesterday, I was told that this boy wasn’t having mentor meetings anymore.  Before I got too shocked and I was quickly told “I am having Mentor Miles.

I was informed that Mentor Miles are mentor meetings that occur whilst walking the Greenbelt that runs right out the front of our school and beyond.  A safe, shared path for walkers and bikers to enjoy the outdoors off the main roads.  It clearly didn’t take long for the mentor and the student to put two and two together and come up with a perfect plan for keeping engagement high, on-task behavior high and spark off a huge burst of enthusiasm in this student.  And how easy!

We talk a lot about programs that could be implemented to help children learn.  How about thinking of the individuals first?  None of this was my doing and yet as soon as I heard it, I knew how perfect it was and how much I wished it had been my idea! What about the rest of my kids?  What is their ‘thing’ and how can we work collaboratively to make sure all our kids really are all our responsibility when it comes to doing best by them?

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