Saturday, September 7, 2013

Starting the School Year with a Student-Centered Perspective

Poster found here.

Ann and I start the school year now from a completely different perspective:  We are facilitators in a student-centered classroom.  

Sure we can choose our color scheme (blue, black, and silver!), our concept of focus (SYSTEMS), our theme (Robots), and even a slogan ("Gearing up to learn...Sparks will fly!").  But those are just things we choose in the hopes that we will inspire our students from the moment they walk into their learning space.  Preparing anything beyond that is nearly impossible.  

Something wasn't feeling right as we approached the first day this school year, and we finally we realized what is was:  our kids were missing!

Then I was reading some of my favorite blogs the day before school started and came across a post by Pernille Ripp.  She too was feeling the same way me and Ann were.  In a student-centered classroom, you can only prepare so much for the first day of school; and the second day, and the third, and the fourth... for that matter.  The students drive our decision making on a daily basis.  In order to know the direction we will go, to make our lesson plans definite, to decide on specific materials and strategies, our kids must be present.  We must have countless opportunities to get to know their personalities, their strengths, their challenges, their interests and their ambitions.  

And as if it was meant to be, I came across the poster above created by Krissy Venosdale.  It put everything I have expressed and felt into very simple terms.  As educators with a student-centered mindset, we focus on one day at a time.  And everything we do is built on the premise of truly making dreams come true.

Here's to all the classrooms that whisper "you complete me" to students as they enter each day.


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