Friday, February 10, 2012

A New Challenge

Today was a challenging day. My goal this semester is to help my students become more independent. It is obvious that they depend on me for many things. A lot of these things, however, are things I need to stop helping them with. It's time to "cut the cord" in some ways.

As a former middle school teacher, I know that their 6th grade teachers, whereever they go to school, will answer a lot fewer easy questions and tolerate a lot fewer interruptions. I need to get the kids doing things on their own, thinking for themselves, and feeling like they don't need me at every moment of the learning day.

That's where the Gateway Exhibition comes in. By the end of today, all of you will have seen the requirements. It' do I say this...A LOT. I'm not going to be able to hold their hands. That doesn't mean I'm going to abandon and make them do it all by themselves. But it's time to set them loose as independent thinkers and learners.

This is going to be a challenge for some of them. Today we were finishing up letters to colleges. Normally, I would work with each student to help them make sure theirs was formatted correctly. Normally, I'd take any and all questions to make sure they got everything right. Not today. Today I gave them a sample letter and made them figure it out on their own. I didn't allow interruptions. I made them wait to speak with me. It was frustrating for some of them. It's going to continue to be frustrating.

But I believe it's worth it. It's time for these baby birds to leave the nest and fly. I just wanted to give you a heads up when they come home talking about how "mean" I've become. :)

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