I am finding myself looking forward to removing the walls in my classroom and having it be wide open. The cinder, mortar, wires, concrete and drywall is all coming down by the end of the year and I will have a space that kids are free to feel ready to learn.
This isn’t really going to happen of course. I have to admit that I would like it, but that isn’t going to happen any time soon. What I am looking forward to is getting kids to think outside of the walls using technology to expand their experiences beyond normal limits.
I had a conversation today at a family birthday party that was interesting to experience. A mother, let’s call her Sally, has a daughter who lives and teaches in Florida. Her comment was that they, really she meant Gov. Rick Scott, was trying to pin everything on teachers giving them undo burden by tying wages to test scores. Hmmm, anyone see a problem? Tying wages to high stakes test scores is like a dog chasing its own tail. The dog chases the tail going in circles madly trying to get it. How can tying a wage to a student’s subjective desire to take test lead to better education outcomes? Seems a bit silly. Rather than try to drop the hammer on educators, why not focus on changing the learning space where the kids and teachers live? Wouldn’t it be more prudent to transform the space creating a greater desire to learn rather than sterilize it by forcing teachers to raise AYP? I don’t understand this mentality.
What do I mean by a new learning space? I mean getting kids into spaces whether online or physically to learn, and students should be online more than in a book. Being online affords students opportunity to share thoughts, get questions answered, find relevant information, and contribute. Is this an impossibility? Certainly not. It will certainly mean schools will get very uncomfortable with non-traditional, outside the box learning. Can it happen?