I was on a field trip with our seniors all day Monday in the rain. The seniors have been involved in problem based learning projects where they have to solve real world problems, make proposals, and come up with solutions. Today we had an opportunity to put those skills in to practice. We sanded piers, cleaned trails, built picnic tables and cleaned cabins. The students organized themselves, kept to a schedule, got the task done, and with great success and 100 percent participation. This kind of project adds Relevance to what they are learning. Will this type of experience help raise test scores? Probably not. But what it does offer is practicality and collaboration, both of which are necessary for the 21st century student and 21st century teacher. There seems to be a nationwide, state wide and local misconception about teachers, and teaching today. I don’t believe that misconception, and I won’t accept that misconception about the teachers I work with. . I would invite you all to come in, any day, at any time to any of our classrooms, and sit with us a while. You’ll see us differentiating instruction, engaging students in discussion, and teaching with rigor and relevance. What you will see won’t be the same in every classroom but our common goal is the same. According to the authors of Nine Shift “ the optimal work environment is different for each knowledge worker.” This translates to our classrooms. Draves and Coates go on to say “ Some people work best in a room with other people, some work best alone. Some work best with music playing, others in silence.” Teachers recognize this in students. I am hopeful that you can and will recognize this in your teachers. We work hard. We are committed. And we want the best for our kids.
I love my job. Teaching is an art and I enjoy learning and growing along with my students. I can't think of any thing else I'd rather do.