I want my students to love school. I loved school. I still love school. I was the kid who liked writing essays. I often read the entire summer reading list for high school English courses in the actual summer. I loved singing and performing in music class, choirs and musicals. I was not the top of every class but, I was successful overall and I developed a strong understanding of my own strengths early on. The excitement of back to school shopping, new books and the opportunity to share my understanding still lingers today.
As an adult I fulfilled this need to connect with my enjoyment of schoolwork by taking AQs in ESL, special education and librarianship. While recognizing this is still an option and that I can always self-direct my learning with professional resources and dialogue, I think I miss school. Lately, I find myself wondering if I can juggle the time, money, work and family commitments with a foray into graduate studies.
The truth is I am not totally sure I can. The decision will have to come after many lengthy conversations with my husband about the impact on our family and some deep conversation with my professional mentors about the idea. (Plus I have to actually apply and get in.)
But… either way I want to reflect on my love of school and figure out all the pathways my students can take to leave with the same love. This is why I want to move further into inquiry and student-led learning. And why I find myself suggesting engaging student voice in more and more initiatives typically created by the adults in our schools. It is why I am so intrigued by the makerspace movement from the previous post. Maybe I loved essays and reading and music, but maybe my students love equations and basketball and coding. Whatever it is that gets them to school in the morning (whether they have found it just yet or not), I feel more and more that allowing students’ interests, questions and passions to guide our school community is essential to our 21st century education model.
I wonder where the students will lead me tomorrow?