Monday, September 8, 2008

Being a student

Today I participated in the PLP (Powerful Learning Practices) F2F at Fredericksburg Academy led by Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. My school is the host school and I was released from classes today to participate in the conference. After the second break out session I left the classroom in a daze and came to face-to-face with some of my own students. As I slowly came to reality I realized that they were laughing and one had spoken to me. I felt like they sometimes look when they come into my classroom from a different class. Dazed, out of it, and not ready for any new information. They were forgiving and repeated what they had been trying to tell me.
"Our class had a good discussion too"
Today while I was away learning, I confidently left my students to learn on their own. Having set up a wiki and class norms for book discussions, my students decided that they could conduct the second discussion of Black Ice on their own. The sub's report: "They had a GREAT discussion on the book" and the other class' assessment of themselves reassure me that:
1. I am not the only expert in the room.
2. Students want to learn.
3. I work at a great school that allows me the freedom to explore these new tools to enhance the learning environment in my classroom.
I don't think that I ever felt so good about taking a day off and leaving sub plans.


Susan Carter Morgan said...

I am sitting here, also tired and in a daze. But you just made my day:)

Susanne Nobles said...

How is _Black Ice_ going? That is so great to hear how they tackled it on their own -- it sounds like the new placement in the year has been the right thing!

J. Clark Evans said...

The self moderated class discussion has gone amazingly well. Check out their wiki:
The caveat is that this is the third year that I have taught this group of students. It's so wonderful that they know me and I know them so well. Now we are all now free to learn!