cheesemonkey wonders

cheesemonkey wonders

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sometimes I teach, and sometimes I just try to get out of the way...

We are in the midst of our giant 8th grade culminating assessment extravaganza — a multi-part project that includes a research paper, a creative/expressive project, a presentation with slides, and several other components I'm spacing out on at the moment.

I have to admit something here: I used to be an unbeliever when it comes to projects.

I used to think they lacked rigor and intellectual heft.

But I was wrong.

Two years of this process has made me a believer in the power of project-based learning.

Sometimes the creative projects are merely terrific, but every year, there are a few that are incredible. This year, this has already happened twice... and only two projects have been turned in so far (they are due on Monday, 22-Apr-13).

Sometimes it is the quiet, timid kid who really blows my mind. Sometimes it is a kid who is kind of rowdy who reveals another, hidden side. But I never fail to be humbled at the potential inside each of these people, and I am honored to teach them.

So this is a reminder to myself that sometimes my job is simply to get out of their way.

1 comment:

  1. A famous modern conductor and composer was having problems conducting a difficult section of his music. He was trying different ideas but nothing seemed to work. He and the musicians were getting very frustrated so he said, "When we get to Letter M, I'm just going to put my hands down. You all keep playing, and I'll meet up with you at Letter N." The players were skeptical but they tried it, and the section worked perfectly. He summed up the experience by saying, "Sometimes my job is just to let them play and get out of their way." True story. (Eric Whitacre)