It is that wonderful time of the year when there is cool in the air, early morning sun, malls filled with the sounds and shoppers of the season, and thought of sugar plums dancing in our heads.
For teachers, it is also that season when just showing a video is really tempting.
On Thanksgiving day, we speak of the turkey coma that follows our meal, but for education, there is a similar coma that is looming for the 3-4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. We are in a rush to finish up content, so we fall into doing the quick thing, the easy thing to cover that ground. Innovation takes a back seat to convenience, deeper development cedes to doing what we know.
It has been said that if we always do what we've always done, we will always get what we always got. In the fast paced, ever changing world of education, that has now become- "If we always do what we have always done, we are not keeping up."
I am taking the challenge this stretch to try something new, or to shake things up a bit to fight off the beast of complacency. I'll be trying to create more opportunities for students to interact with each other, and to practice choice in instruction.
Today, my students presented their classroom design projects and an idea struck me- what if we presented our students with a blank room- our room- and asked them to design their learning space? It is something I will be considering for next semester, as I start fresh with some new students in new classes. I have to ask myself these questions:
Would it make us uncomfortable, would it push us to try new things? Would it empower students?
And when fighting the beast of complacency, those questions are the best weapons at our disposal.