I like order. I like routine. I like a clean classroom with neat desks and work hung relatively straight on the walls (I’m not good with “seeing” straight — you can take my parking as an example — but I try :-)). And while I like all of these things, what I truly love more than any of them is seeing students eager to learn. So sometimes I need to give up some of what I “like” to get what I “love.” This can be scary — really, really scary — but it’s okay to be scared!
Tomorrow I’m very excited and a little bit scared! Yesterday, my students looked at ways to change our classroom into the human body. My plan is to immerse the students in this Science topic, and bring reading, writing, Science, visual arts, and math to a whole new level. Today, the groups of students took the various ideas shared yesterday, and looked at ways to merge them into a single plan. They drew diagrams of their ideas, wrote about their options, created lists of materials needed, and wrote letters to ask teachers for various items. Students planned everything, and tomorrow, we’re going to execute their plan.
At the end of the day today, students stacked their chairs, and I moved their desks to the outside of the room. I pulled out table cloths, organized human body books and plaques that students wanted, charged the devices for research, and made sure that our art supplies were ready. I even left a little bit earlier than usual to go to The Dollar Store, and pick up the extra supplies that we needed. Tomorrow students will help organize the groups, outline the tasks, create the items, add the information, modify their plans, and create again.
Will things work perfectly? Maybe or maybe not.
Does it matter? No!
Will there be a mess? Probably.
Can we tidy up this mess? Absolutely!
Am I scared about what might happen (be it good, bad, or otherwise)? Yes … but the students are well-organized, the supports are in place for those students that need it, and the expectations are clear. Success or not, we will be learning A LOT tomorrow.
So I’ve decided that I’m going to embrace this scared feeling, and continue to feel giddy with the possibilities. When have you felt “scared” like this before? What do you do to overcome it? Maybe feeling scared is really all about risk-taking, in which case, let’s take some risks together!