Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Small Acts

Found myself able to read a fiction book this week!  What a joy!

One quote stuck out for me from Gloria Whelan's Small Acts of Amazing Courage...
     "What did Father mean when he said he would himself undertake my education? Did that mean he would just empty into me all that was in him and then that would be me? Or would he share his experiences with me and let me mix them in with my own thoughts?" (201)

This blog post will not be a review of the book - you can find those elsewhere. I had to write about this quote, for it made me think of the teacher I always dreamed of being - one that stood in the front of the room and imparted my knowledge of how to read well, and learn from reading. It also made me reflect upon the teacher I've become - one that poses a question or idea and observes as students discuss, argue, or solve something. Watching them listen, process, and deliver their own ideas makes my day. Some days it goes smoothly, and some days students need encouragement or direction, but I find myself biting my tongue and not feeding them my ideas, or facts they can Google. No, I'm watching them grow and learn (hopefully). I'm watching them make their own decisions... develop their own opinions.

A big part of what Genius Hour means to me - students sharing experiences and letting them mix these in with their own thoughts...

6 comments:

  1. I think this is especially important in middle school. Most adolescents are at a stage where they resist what is pushed at them. But they LOVE to share experiences.

    Great eye for grabbing a quote!

    Laura

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    1. I'm a quote junkie! Thanks for reading and responding, Laura!

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  2. Yes, I love the idea of sharing experiences and letting them mix in with others' thoughts. That is what learning is about. A conversation. Thanks for sharing your quote, and I'm glad you were able to enjoy a fiction book this week!

    Denise

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    1. And by sharing the quote, I get a conversation! I really didn't expect any comments on this post - thanks, Denise!

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  3. This is a great quotation. I think I could take a photo of a father/daughter and put that quotation on it. It's so true what you said about being that teacher who imparted all of the knowledge, stood wise and tall, knew more than the students...and now as Denise, said, it's more of a conversation and how the words, "I don't know; why don't you look it up?" are so much easier to say.

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    1. I like telling the students "Contrary to popular belief, I DON'T know everything!" :-D They smirk, and go to look it up! Thanks for reading and responding, Kris!

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