What is the purpose of what we have learned today? This is a question I have been asked by my students and a question I often ask myself when thinking about the types of things I am going to ask my students to do. What I notice a lot of the time is that by fifth grade, many kids have figured out that there is a ‘right answer’ and that if they are not 100% sure what that answer is, they are not going to say anything. In my book, Imagine A School, I imagine the following:
Often I wonder if I am providing this for my kids or channeling them all down a one way street to sixth grade. I want to be the kind of teacher that hands out the following oath and dares my kids to sign it like they mean it – and then teaches them like I mean it.
I just finished reading Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks. The book is told by 8 year old Max’s 6 year old imaginary friend, Budo. Even imaginary kids can tell the difference between those teachers who “play school and those who teach school”:
“It’s strange how teachers can go off to college for all those years to learn to become teachers, but some of them never learn the easy stuff. Like making kids laugh. And making sure they know that you love them.”
― Matthew Dicks, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend
What is most important to you as a teacher?