Monday, March 9, 2015

Teachers as Facilitators of Learning

During the winter months, it is important to keep your students engaged 
so that lethargy does not affect the positivity of the learning space. 

Ah, the learning process in action!

Collaborative conversations lead to inquiry.

But, according to MIke Schmoker's research gathered from visitations to 1500 classrooms for his book Results Now, only 15% of the classrooms had more than half of their classes paying attention to the lesson. Student engagement is a critical component of effective classrooms. Be the guide on the side that assists students to achieve the possibilities that learning can afford them. 

So what does student engagement look like? Certainly not this image:

A student-centered, engaged environment has the look and feel of a collaborative classroom, where students work in partnerships, triads, and quads. They read critically with pen in hand; soft skills are visible: creative decision making, problem solving, noticing, wondering, exploring, and discovering. Students create, discuss, debate, and ask questions. They perform, present, interact with peers, and share their learning. Technology is integrated into lessons with students respectfully demonstrating 21st century digital literacy competencies. The teacher becomes the guide on the side, not the sage on the sage, a teacher of learning, rather than a preacher of learning.  

Heidi Mordhurst is into her second week of the March Ch Challenge. The word for the day is "preach" which makes me think of church. It also reminds me that there needs to be less teacher voice in the classroom and more student voice. Keeping students engaged negates boredom that was more apparent in the factory model of teaching. I dedicate this modest attempt of incorporating the word preach into a poem. Walk in my shoes for a moment to join my virtual classroom: 

When I prepare to teach
I don't want to preach.
Sermons are meant for church,
and deliberate soul search.

When I stand and teach
I don't want to preach.
I want passion to spill-
learners engaged in the thrill.

Learning is messy
and that is so.
Keep the students 
engaged, on the go.

Now take a stroll over to Two Writing Teachers for Day 9 of the March SOLSC! #SOL15

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