I have had more conversations around this topic than any other in the time that I have been teaching. It has looked different, sounded different, and has been reacted to differently. Yet, my response is always the same. No, I cant go with them… and would you really want me to?
Building a legacy for your learners is never about you. Once you humble yourself to recognize that one simple statement, you will then build up each child so that they are ready to take on the world… with or without you!
When I first read the incredible book EMPOWER by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani, I felt like they had been inside my head as they were writing. It spoke to me… it was an outlet for my thoughts. The quote “Student choice is the heartbeat of ownership and empowerment“ was exactly what I had been trying to say. I felt vindicated. I felt… heard.
Do I want a child that can only learn through my method? My style? My way? Or do I want every child learning through their method… the one that shines a light on their strengths and passions. One that shows their own unique style that they learn to love and appreciate. A style that they can channel their knowledge and learning through for a lifetime and not for 180 schools days with ME. Their way… their choice… their voice so that they can learn to make decisions that they are able to own through personal experience.
Empowerment is one of the most exciting words for a human-being, yet it scares the pants off of most. This struggle is so real for educators. You must be willing to take the RISK… but no one is saying you have to do it alone! Or worse off without preparation or backing. This is where I reach out… to a new book, a Twitter Chat, my PLN built by ME! I am only alone if I chose to be (Not so much the exact quote of George Couros, but the truth is embedded)… there are educators around the world ready to support me at the drop of a hat because I have empowered myself to build these relationships.
This mindset is the same for my students. One that they must be flipped for and by themselves within the first few weeks of having me. It is scary for them. It is exciting for them. It is messy. It is CHAOTIC. AND at times like herding cats, but…
We must breakdown their mindset of compliance before we can build up EMPOWERMENT in their learning!
I create this opportunity for my students with the 30 Second Pitch… it encompasses Mindset, Research, Connect4, and their Moment all wrapped up in one. They must plan and pitch their idea to me in 30 seconds or less. Not an easy task, but it takes them from
in one shift to their learning.