Have you ever had those days when you just want to shake your learner out of their funk? Their funkiness is due to perceived or real lethargy, laziness, lack of motivation. In reality, there are a myriad of variables that influence the students’ orientation toward learning when we take the ecological approach and view our students’ demeanor as a carriage hooked onto many living and breathing and inanimate entities. First and foremost, when we do want to shake our students out of that funk, we must approach this process with compassion and curiosity, challenge and support.
Today, as a result of the somewhat automaton-like routine of school schedules, specific times set aside for particular subjects, and the monotony of formative assessments after each lesson (a stalwart of Connections Academy) my fellow colleague found it necessary to rattle the regimen and stir up a conversation about “what we do,” and “how and why we do it.”
I supported this endeavor because I, too, noticed things becoming rote. Structureless play was in order.
The quotes my colleague chose were:
- “The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.” —Aristotle
- “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” —Confucious
- “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” —Abigail Adams
On an important side note, I am particularly fond of the Abigail Adams quote because of her letter writing, which I still practice today.
These quotes were the material we used for the students to (re)discover, question, and explore their orientations to the learning and learning environment here. In speaking with the students afterwards, I asked them what were their takeaways from this moment. Asking this open-ended question was crucial to understanding the effectiveness of the “lesson.”