I strolled around your place today and noted once again that it is buzzing with your leadership of learners and is as neat as a pin without being museum-like. What a warm and inviting place you make it there. I noted to Jayne that her GRIT bulletin board is a marker of teacher and student conversations good for all of life. Though it never shows up in a formal way in the curriculum, this is the stuff of face-to-face teacher and student interaction that is simply irreplaceable.
Yes, kids these days come up with their hands on technology early and digital footprints before they reach Kindergarten. We must certainly push ourselves to open our school walls through technologies that keep curiosities brimming and the entire information of humankind (now on the internet) at students’ ready access. But we know that information is not wisdom. That information is not going to teach itself to our young kids who need us to guide them in learning to be safe while online and how to assess quality vs. bogus information sources while unleashing the truly awesome power of connecting with other learners and positive influencers available out there.
And then there is grit and community and creativity and acceptance of others and contributing to a team and winning or losing with class and staying with a hard problem until resolved and the ten thousand other things that great teachers teach, guide, cajole, model, tell, elicit, repeat, and love into their sometimes maddening young charges.
It was another pretty quick walk-through at your place today, but it was inviting and inspiring with every step and through the eyes of kids respecting others and their mentors/leaders/sometimes proxy parents/guides/coaches/TEACHERS. Bravo.
I stopped in for a minute while Scott was conferencing with some writers, and I experienced a combination of envy for that link with small humans in progress—and empathy for how tiring it is to be “on” with learners for so much of every day. I was told by a lisping, smiling five-year-old of Carol Weitholter’s exact chronological age on Carol’s 37th birthday! I caught just a minute with Diane as she, iPad in hand, rushed off to be with a guidance group. I prescribed rest and, in fact, sleep aids for two very sick colleagues still coughing their way through as they push to serve kids and colleagues at work (no, I’m not that kind of doctor, but it didn’t stop me). I saw some nifty one-on-one tutoring in literacy, and some way cool displays of kid work and more on the walls in halls. I heard reading and laughing and redirecting and questions and wait time as teachers carefully allowed wheels to turn in developing brains.
Thanks for all you do for the Eagle Elementary kids and community—and for your teammates there whenever they need someone to pitch in, as I hear that you are a fine “all hands on deck” team. As it should be.
Teaching is the cradle of all professions. Have you thanked an influential teacher or other mentor lately? Take a minute. Make the call. Send a note. It matters more than you know.
(Note: Referenced in the above post, Jayne is teacher Jayne Shubat, Scott is teacher Scott McKinley, and Diane is counselor Diane Radivan.)