I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Student Teachers...?

As a teacher, learning how to let go of control over exactly how a lesson will flow can be a hard one to learn.

But it's one I'm learning how to do quickly in our fourth grade classroom, as students are turning in their DOJO points to become "teacher" for a subject.

So far, we've had four different students step up to the plate and embrace the challenge of planning and carrying out lessons in Math, Social Studies, and Science. At home, they've taken the time to find videos, create activities, make Powerpoints, and pre-read the book material.

I must admit, it's harder to let someone else teach than it looks/sounds. It's a lot more work up front to make sure the student knows exactly what lesson we'll be covering, to check in about activities and plans, etc., but during the lesson it's more just gentle guidance and chipping in when necessary to emphasize a point, generate the start to a discussion, and manage classroom behavior. (Actually, students are generally more well-behaved for their peers. Imagine that!)

Some people may think this idea of students teaching students is crazy, and 5 years ago (when I started teaching), I may have agreed. But I truly feel that we, as teachers, can use opportunities like these to empower students to master material and lead their classmates. When they can explain concepts to each other, then we know they've understood it in the first place.

And who knows - we may have a few future teachers on our hands...

(On a completely unrelated - but funny - note... At dismissal yesterday I was trying to call a student down to the office, but I ended up paging Pierce Brosnan instead... No big deal.)

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