How do we measure what happens in our classrooms?
We evaluate, assess, annotate and observe. We plan and create and discuss. We focus on learning and teaching and more learning.
Last week, during an in-house PD (thanks @whatedsaid ) we were looking at our practices and were identifying if what we were doing inspired or enhanced learning for students.
So do we inspire or enhance learning?
I guess simply put the engagement worked 'cause it has made me think.
To explain further... I am still thinking about this question!
For me, learning is the centre point of what I do and this is underpinned by relationships. For me functioning healthy relationships with student require some 'tough times' but are, for the most part, a series of interesting conversations where we challenge each others thinking and have robust discussions. Where we both have responsibilities that centre around learning.
So do I plan engagements that are inspiring? Do I say inspiring things? Is it even up to me to provide the inspiration? After all, will what I find inspiring be the same thing that will set the 'trigger' of something inspirational for another person or student? How can you know? Do you need to know?
Ultimately developing a varied, balanced learning space that provides opportunities and choice and accepts ideas that excite my students is going to be the 'inspiration' - a teacher who see possibilities as a positive and sees learning as the centre of what we do.
Is the fact that you think about learning as being inspirational enough? That you have the desire to create opportunities for possible interactions or experiences that may be inspirational. Is that, how, as teachers we 'inspire'? Maybe the fact that I am still questioning and thinking is demonstrating that there isn't an easy answer, but does there need to be an 'easy answer'?
The enhancing of learning, on the surface seems to be quite easy.
There were lots of examples of learning interactions and engagements that could clearly 'enhance' learning.
However the more I think about it, the more I question this as well.
If to enhance is to make learning 'better' to enable students to 'do more', to 'improve' or to develop thinking, to take learning further, then ultimately, doesn't that mean that the student is invested in their learning, they have been 'inspired' to take the 'enhanced' learning opportunity and inquire further?
For now my thinking is to 'Inspire' and 'Enhance' means to be engaging, be open to possibilities, create a balanced, interesting learning environment where students have, choice, responsibility, can take risks, reflect, set goals and 'grow'.
So... Inspire or Enhance ??
Teaching in an IBPYP school; interests: student agency, technology integration, growth mindset & the continuous cycle of improvement that is the world of education, learning and being!