It has been a little over one year since we cranked up the earliest iteration of the Trafalgar Middle School Makerspace as a component in the Lifelong Learning Explorations program for our students.
As with any school program attempting to serve its learners, there is the need for a healthy does of reflection on both the direction of the program and its niche in the school culture, in general. I’ve started to ask these questions about the learning opportunities that I offer my students:
Is the offering meeting the needs of its students?
Are students actually having fun?
Does the program offer ample opportunity for learners to explore?
Is there a minimal level of guidance provided?
Are there opportunities for challenge for all learners?
I suppose the guide below could encompass an even greater perspective for all programs and opportunities that we provide for learners. How about “How to make learning about learning” or “How to make learning relevant for our learners”.
Perhaps these guidelines could be applied to almost any school-based program in almost any learning environment and with almost any learner?
As the final stages of the (not so) new BC Education Plan continue to unfold for learners, parents, and teachers it strikes me as an opportune time for educators to fully consider how we do what we do in our classrooms and schools. It seems to me that phrases like “have fun”, “challenge”, “skill sets”, and “create” will require our educators to rethink their approach to learning and teaching (and not merely deliver the ‘new’ curriculum). In what is a primordial period in the evolution of education in British Columbia, it also seems to be the perfect time to begin reflecting not only on what we are doing, but also on how we are doing what we are doing.
No matter your subject matter, no matter your level of expertise, no matter the age level of your learners a fundamental key to keeping us, our efforts, and our work relevant for our learners is to continue developing a habit of regular, shared, and honest reflection of our practice; attempting to continually (re)connect the why we do what we do is so elemental now more than ever.
So, when’s the last time that you reflected on the opportunities that you offer your learners?