I often wonder why it is that the most important things we do in a classroom are often the things we quickly push aside.
How often do we give our kids a real opportunity to share their learning?
Too often the conversations are between teacher and student rather than between the students themselves.
Sharing puts yourself out there for everyone to see. In the right environment sharing gives kids a chance to shine, gives others something to strive for and it supports those in need.
On the last Friday before holidays when normally I’d be expecting the class to be winding down the kids had learning conversations going right up to the bell.
As the kids got up to share up their work questions emerged.
What does that mean?
How do you know that?
It’s a time as a teacher where you want to grab your popcorn and watch the discussion unfold. The kids were respectful yet demanding. They wanted their peers to do better. What was amazing were the kids who after sharing their efforts, accepted helpful criticism with good grace.
The last child to share was a child with a physical and developmental disability. While my class is generally fantastic at supporting this child I always worry that we could be doing more. I fret when I see him sitting alone at lunch and redirect kids to sit with him. I’ve taken to letting him go first with a friend to specialists rather than being dismissed at the same time so he is not always the last to arrive as the kids have a habit of rushing off.
As the child started to read his story suddenly the rest of the class quickly rushed around without any prompting from me to support him. When he finished the whole room erupted in applause. The only thing I could really do in that situation is quickly grab my phone for a picture for the child’s family and therapist to capture that magical moment they would not otherwise see.
What magic comes from shared stories.