Denim Column

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Alabama, United States
Educator and Lifelong Learner, Asst Principal at @cmslions, #NBCT, #EdD from @ucumberlands, @Google Educator Lvl 1 & 2, Google for Education Certified Trainer

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Don't Be a Knot on a Log


My friend, Julie D. Ramsay from eduflections, recently presented a post titled "It's Time to Let Go."  As I wrote my comment to this post, I felt it was important to share with my blog friends.  What are your thought? 

I often tell my students not to be “knots on a log.”  We discuss the fact that a knot on a log serves no purpose.  It never grows.  It does nothing.  Students should be responsible for their own learning.  I am simply a facilitator in their learning.  Many of my students have to adjust to this type of learning.  I am not discounting their great teachers from previous years.  I just tend to have a different teaching style.  When someone peeks in the door of my classroom, they will see organized chaos.  To them, it is probably disorganization.

However, within the walls of my classroom, my students are learning.  They are choosing topics to research to use in online creations.  They are reading and responding.  They are writing.  They are managing their own behavior as they move through activities.  They are free to ask questions and seek the answers.  Much of the day, my students are moving about the classroom, spread out in the floor, sitting around computers, or working in small groups.  The standard rule “Stay in your seat and raise your hand” just doesn’t work in our classroom.

Why do I choose to let go?  Children are expected to make wise choices.  However, we often limit their choices in the school setting.  Students should be allowed to grow-to become a flowering tree-rather than be a knot on a log.