Tiffany Eaton articulates a strong personal statement of support for new educational thinking in her post Creating a Culture that Cares at TimeSpaceEducation.
Her starting point is the stark contrast between two different types of experiences we have from one day to another as teachers. One is the moment when you look at a bunch of slack-jawed, apathetic kids and think, “What’s wrong with them? Why aren’t they interested in learning?’ And come on, we’ve all been there. Don’t lie. At these times you might sympathize or feel frustrated – probably a mixture of both. As Eaton puts it,
Surely kids are not innately programmed to sit on a dirty patch of carpet, cold flooring or at rigid desks and listen to us lecture about stuff that, quite frankly, they’re not interested in learning.
You get that – they’re children, not robots. But part of you still thinks, “Why not? Why hasn’t someone programmed these kids to sit on a patch of dirty carpet and be interested??’
And then there are those other times – perhaps rare, perhaps not, when it just takes off, and you can’t believe how independent the students are being, how passionate they are, how they’re organizing themselves and actually thinking… how at this moment you could just saunter along to the lounge, get a coffee, have a chat with a colleague, and they wouldn’t even notice you’d gone.
Hopefully we’ve all been there as well. If only, we think, it could always be like this. Or we think,
That’s it! I’ve made a breakthrough with these kids. From now on it’s going to be like this EVERY DAY!
And the next morning you’re back to the whole slack-jawed dirty-carpet scenario. Continue reading “Creating a Culture that Cares – a response”