Back-to-school excitement is in the air! As you plan your first days of getting to know your new students, consider these four questions shared by @CJCain7:
4 questions to ask your students during the first few days back:
1. What do YOU want to learn this year?
2. How do YOU want to learn it?
3. How do YOU want to share what YOU learned with YOUR community?
4. What questions do YOU have? #jeffcogenerations pic.twitter.com/VgQlR1M0cV
— C.J. Cain (@CJCain7) August 5, 2018
I would add one more question to this list: How can YOU make a difference this year in our school? in our community? in our world?
This may be the first time your students have ever been asked these questions, and it might be difficult for them to find an answer. But, during the first few days of school, these questions will show students that you value them as a unique and original person. You value their ideas and interests. And you can spark a curiosity and desire to learn that will continue throughout the year.
Of all the skills and content that your students will learn over the next year, I think the most essential is pathfinding. The instinct to find a way. The ability to change direction as needed. The willingness to try something new. The desire to persevere with hard problems, when there is no immediate answer.
Guide your students to find their own paths this year. It’s easy to follow the well-worn path of short-term assignments and projects that will be forgotten in a month. It’s far more difficult to engage in meaningful and challenging work that will actually have a lasting impact on your students, and the culture of your classroom.
To really change the culture of school, ask yourself these questions as an educator. Let them empower you to find a new path this year:
What do YOU want to learn about this year? How do YOU want to learn it? How will YOU share what you have learned with YOUR community? What questions do YOU have?
How can YOU make a difference this year in your school? in your community? in our world?