April 12, 2016

Get Me In The Game

I woke up from an intense dream this morning. I was on some kind of outdoor-ed trip. It was not clear if I was a teacher or a student, but there were lots of exciting adventurous activities happening: rafting, zip-lines, intense games of paint-ball etc…

But as teams were selected for each event, I was completely ignored. Nobody wanted me to participate or to be on their team. They kept telling me to just chill and stay behind in the room. Catch up on reading. Don’t worry about it they would say. I was furious. All I wanted to do was participate, but I was invisible and when I finally started to make a stink and demand to be included, they became angry and told me to just get out of the way.

I was in the middle of a tantrum, when I woke up.

I seldom get angry in life. I am a pretty chilled and go-with-the-flow kind of guy, but I swear I was short of breath and slightly shaking when I woke up. I am no dream interpreter, but I think it meant that I want to get in it. I want to do it. Get me in the game. I am ready.

I’m at the airport now. I just inhaled a Sushi Burrito. If you don’t know what that is, take a minute and imagine what it could look like and I bet you are right. I board a plane to Manila in about thirty minutes and I have Spotlight downloaded for the flight. I spent the last few minutes emailing the chair of my Daraja GC with plans about what needs to be done for our meeting n Thursday. And earlier today I participated in a very productive meeting of our Lit Mag. The magazine is in our hands and we printed a massive beautiful banner to advertise it. We are planning a launch party next week. The reason I am bringing this up is because I am so proud of the student initiative of both these projects.

At the start of the year, I made a conscious decision to find ways to create more student-driven experiences for my students. The thinking went that although our academic curriculum might not always allow such freedoms as passion led projects and/or inquiry-based learning in our daily classes, it is vital that we find other ares of the curriculum to make them happen. And our Lit Mag is a great example of this. Paula and I have been very hands-off as a small group of dedicated grade 6-8 boys and girls have created this magazine. They have learned so much from the process. I want to do a more formal write up or even short film about the process, but the whole things reminds me that we can carve places and times to give students ownership of their learning.

I am proud of them. It is a beautiful product and I cannot wait for them to send it out into the world next week.

Next time you’ll hear from me, I will be in my hotel in Manila tomorrow night. I am excited to share thoughts and photos of what I can only assume is going to be a tremendous city. The gate beckons.

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