Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Embracing the Struggle

One of the things I push with my students is the importance of embracing struggle.  We should be actively looking for our weak areas and working to shore them up.  This means that we need to be willing to grow and change.

This year I decided to practice what I preach. I was in a comfortable place at my old schools.  The rotation of themes I taught each year was in a good place.  Everything was routine.  My students were challenged with design thinking, Kohlberg's stages of Moral Development, the circle of control, collaboration, leadership, etc., along with deep and rigorous content. But there was a new school in town, and I liked the concept:  a gaming school.  The school focuses on students who game, and those who typically do not do well in a traditional classroom.

Let me tell you, I am embracing the struggle.  It has not been easy.  There are NO gaming schools on which we can model this school.  We're breaking new ground. This year we made mistakes.  I will start the year differently.  I will break up my classes differently.  I will prepare in a broader way.  And I will cast a vision to my students. 

However, once again, my students have taught me so much.  They know SO much more about their technology than I do.  I now know how to make multiple desktops, how to use shortcuts, and how to "rollercoaster."  But more than that, I know there are kids who are so resilient in the face of their circumstances.  I know saying, "I hope you have a good day" can make someone's day. I know they listen because they tell each other "All you have to do to pass math is listen to Mrs. Hughes." I know pets die, family members die, hearts break, and friends leave, but 11 and 12-year-olds have it within them to keep going and rise above.

So, here's to last year's struggle and growth.  Bring on next year.  I can't wait to see where it leads!