What The Kids Want

Its About Me First….

I find myself more focused this school year, and I am not too sure what has changed exactly.  Yes, I am busy with my family.  Yes, I am busy with my planning, marking and daily school “life” (that certainly hasn’t changed!).  And yes, I am certainly busy with my professional duties being an active member in the Alberta Teachers Association, along with serving on numerous committees and planning groups.

Yet I feel more focused and relaxed.  It’s kind of weird, actually.

My focus and attention comes to the kids.  Now more than any other time in my professional career, I really feel that I am focused on the students in front of me each day and how I can best help them to be successful.  I find that my teaching is focused on the learning – more than it ever has been! – and I am venturing away from the topics of lates, zeros, missed assignments, tardiness, etc.  Instead, my focused thoughts and conversations with myself, my patient wife and my colleagues (who feel the same way) are more directed to questions like the following:

  • What can I do to make a child’s day today?
  • Is what I am teaching relevant to the students?  If not, how can I make it relevant?
  • Is my lesson engaging and challenging at the same time?
  • How am I preparing students for the next “century of learning” (I use this term since I find the 21st century term a bit dated…)
Changing my focus has caused me to re-think how I can connect, inspire, engage, excite and intrigue the students in my room with the content that we are covering (and at times, this is a HUGE challenge being middle school science!).  My focus, I find, is more on what they want, in the sense of how can I best reach all (or nearly all) of the children in my room to help them to learn best.

...And Then Its About Them

I follow a few blogs through my Google Reader, one of which is Lisa Nielsen, best known as creator of The Innovative Educator.  Some great reads on here almost daily, but a recent video post has caught my attention.  The video is entitled “Children Share the 12 Most Important Things They Want from their Teachers“, which was inspired by this post by Angela Maiers.  As the kids share these twelve things in the video, it made me think about how many of them on this list I find myself doing on a day to day basis.  I was pleased to see that many I do, and some I could improve on.  And what I really liked was not all of it was about “let us play more” and “talk less during class” – they were simple requests that I think fits all age groups.  The video reminded me of the little things that I can do and continue to do to make the most of my time with my students.  It all adds up, I think.

Image from The Innovative Educator blog - click to play!

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