Life with L

Thinking Out Loud!


with one comment


You know what good Professional Development does? It makes you think and reflect about your craft. That is exactly what Educon has done for me. I cannot stop thinking!  I have been trying to plan a project for my students based on civil rights and the power of non-violent resistance. Then, today it came to me. I had it all wrong. I know that I learn most when I am creating; that was the problem, I was the one doing the creating.  I was designing all the steps in the project. Then, I started really thinking about what we as teachers do when we create projects in a step by step manner. Many teachers, myself included, do this because we will have better control over what is happening in our classrooms. We don’t like things to get too loud, too messy, or to take the chance that things might just blow up in our faces.  We use arguments, such as, my students need structure, or my students have no intrinsic motivation, or my students just don’t have the skills to direct their own learning.

After thinking and then thinking some more, I decided to do my real job. Our real job is to work harder to help our students gain those skills, to build that motivation, to help them design their own structures to guide their learning. Is it difficult? Sure. Is it necessary? Absolutely. So this teacher is going to step outside her comfort zone. She is going to take a risk and not worry if this lesson is going to blow up in her face.  She is not going to worry that it might take a little extra time. What’s the worst thing that can happen? A little chaos can be a good thing, right?

This is a copy of the project I will give my students tomorrow. Any and all comments about how I might make it better are welcome.

Civil Rights Activist Project Proposal

A small disclaimer about my photo of the day. I did take pictures today, but thought this one fit the topic better.


Written by Life With L

February 1, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Posted in Education

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. Hi – I just read your project description and I think it’s hard to give feedback since I don’t know the background on your former classroom practices. This is a VERY open ended project which is awesome but only if your students have progressed to this type of work. One thing I learned at Educon is that when SLA gets their freshman, their first projects have tons of checkpoints and structure. By the time they are seniors, there is only one checkpoint (the final project). So if you have gradually opened up your students’ self sufficiency to the point that they are very independent, then this is a great project. But if you’ve been very prescriptive, then this might cause lots of chaos. Of course, “disruptive learning” has merits of its own and it might be very interesting to see just where this ends up. I hope you give a follow up post so I can learn along with you.

    Patti Sullivan

    February 1, 2010 at 9:27 PM

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