Here we are just a few weeks into another new school year. By now, everyone is back in the swing of things with the new routines of their classes and schedules. Maybe I’m crazy, but I’ve always thought the beginning of the school year was somewhat like New Year’s Day. The beginning of the school year, like January 1st, is a chance for a fresh start.
Have you ever heard (or used) the phrase, “Ask three, then me”? I heard other teachers use it with their students when I started teaching four years ago. The idea is simple: before students come and ask the teacher for help, they should check with three other sources. They can ask three friends. They can ask Google, Siri, and a friend. There are many possible combinations! The teacher is happy to help, as long as the student has consulted three other sources first. The main point of this phrase, I think, is to teach students to dig for answers. To think. To learn. To keep going when you're stuck. NOT to expect that answers will be spoon fed.
Like most kids, my son and daughter can’t wait to get home from school on Fridays! Yes, they look forward to staying up later on Friday nights, sleeping in on Saturdays, and spending time with their family and friends on Sundays. BUT…do you want to know what my kids REALLY look forward to on Fridays? My kids bust through the door of our house every Friday afternoon and run straight for the fridge...not to grab a snack, but to hang up one thing from their week that they are the MOST PROUD of. This item can be anything - literally anything - that they feel best represents their success and growth over the course of the week. Although both of my children are A students, they rarely choose an assignment or test on which they earned an A to display. More often than not, they choose a piece of their artwork or something that they created (they call them their “inventions”) to display for all to see. Then, throughout the week, we talk about the item on the fridge and we praise each other’s work. This artifact stays up on the fridge all week...until the next Friday. We take this one step further by taking pictures of our work and sending them to our friends and family via Facebook and text messages (the grandparents love it!). Sometimes, I even post a picture of their work on Instagram!
Do you ever make decisions based on “gut feeling”? Can you tell within minutes of meeting someone whether you like them or you don’t? Are you a teacher who can tell within the first week which of your students will graduate first in class, last in class, or not at all?
Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink,, talks about the decisions we make every day, in an instant – in the blink of an eye. In the book, he talks about processing information quickly with the ability to “thin-slice” or filter multiple factors to come to a conclusion. He goes on to point out that there are some people who are very good at this, but there are more that think they have great intuition and, in fact, they are very, very wrong.
Blank stares - and then the barrage began...
Topics: Integration Services