Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Adjusting to the Process

I recently worked with a teacher and her students introducing a new app.  The students were quick to learn and anxious to get started creating on their own.  The students had done preliminary work on the information to be shared using the presentation app.  They were still working on their final presentations when I left, but I could tell they weren't going to have a bit of trouble.

A few days later I spoke with the teacher.  She was delighted, and admittedly surprised, by their performance.  She stated that she was the one who had to adjust.  The creative process was a bit noisy.  It just didn't fit into the structure that was normally such an integral part of her classroom environment.  She had to adjust her thinking and her expectation for behavior.....and she did.  Kudos to her!

So many of us that have been educators for years find it hard to let go of the structure that we think constitutes a quality learning environment.   We came from (and created) classrooms that discouraged talking, placed students in straight rows and where the expectation was to receive responses from students that fit nicely into a right or wrong category.

If that's where you are, it's time to adjust your thinking.  Students have tremendous creative potential and their creative process gets a little noisy!  It seems a little disorganized.  But, trust them.  They will surprise you.  Yes, you need to set expectations for an outcome.  You can give general parameters under which their product must fall.  But give them an opportunity to show you how the learning works for them.  Let them dazzle you.  Enjoy them.....and let them enjoy learning!