You might have seen the movie City Slickers where the character Curly tells Mitch that the secret of life is “just one thing”. Many of us spend time trying to find our “one thing” and a few lucky ones (I think many are Discovery employees) really capture it. In this article, Lisa Nielsen reminds us there are two critical things for teachers.
We are teaching children, we are teaching individuals. Each of them with their own idiosyncrasies, backgrounds, and ability to grow their new-found knowledge in infinite ways. Find open ended ways for students to learn material and apply it in a way that sticks with them. Spark interest so there’s a need to learn more. If your method isn’t easily tested and validated with data, then remember that children are more than test scores. If a great deal of time is spent practicing test items, analyzing vocabulary of test questions, testing, correcting tests, comparing data, and setting objectives for the next test, there is no time for exploration and the wonder of learning.
I hope you’ll read Nielsen’s article, watch City Slickers, and continue to see the children around you grow and learn in new and exciting ways.