Another week over, another term done and dusted.
A particular highlight of this week was finally getting the bottle bivvy construction started. My class had been collecting milk bottles all term but I had no idea what kind of base to build the bivvy. Finally in a moment of inspiration I realised that the refurbishment happening in my school would likely mean that there would be spare carpet to use and we were on our way.
I took a group for a ‘guided’ construction process. We watched the video about how to glue the bottles together and then I helped the students to chalk out a giant circle. What was awesome was quickly the students took over the project. Over the course of the week, the students I initially taught were teaching each other the procedure of how to glue the bottles together and we’ve made a big dent in the construction process.
To me this is learning at its purest. Finding an idea, learning a process and then others teaching each other. I hope that this is one of those the experiences that the kids remember for many years to come.
If feels like I’m coming into the home stretch of the year. The last term seems to be a manic mix of camp and end of year festivities. For my Year 8 students in particular I often wonder if I’m actually setting them for success in high school.
My class looks like this. When visitors to my room arrive, they often can’t immediately find me and spend a few minutes around looking a little lost until they find me in a little corner of the room or buried under milk bottles.
Yet I know high school classes don’t function like this. It’s an hour in and then onto the next person, no time for real deviations from the plan.
We spend a lot of time blaming in education. Workplaces blame universities for not preparing graduates for the world of work. Universities blame high schools for not preparing students for high schools. High schools blame the primary schools and on we go.
But perhaps instead of blaming we should put our energies into ensuring that each year for our students is a great year so the stay engaged in learning. Perhaps it’s teachers who need to prepare for our students rather than preparing our students for others.