This morning, when going through my tweet-stream, I was pointed to a blog post by Tim Holt’s post on the Powerful Learning Practice’s Voices from the Revolution blog, The 30 Minute Questions. Tim’s thoughts echos one of both Kevin Honeycutt’s at the Leadership Symposium at ISTE and Jeff Utecht’s Laptop Institute messages
In a typical school day, what 30 minutes will your students remember the most?
This question is one which is powerful and needs to be asked and addressed. However, as we near the opening of schools in the next month in North America, I have had a similar question, slightly flipped,
In a typical school day, what 30 minutes will be the ones that as teachers, you remember the most?
In the past, when my colleagues and I talk about the memorable moments that we have had at school, a great majority of them take place outside of the classroom, just as Tim writes. For me, it was the pride and joy my first yearbook staff had as they presented the final pages that they had scrambled to complete during the time my mother quickly and suddenly passed away. It is the time that I watch various Science Olympians finally turn a corner towards mastery and understanding of a complex project. It is the time, as an adviser, that an advisee came to realize that they had hit a wall and began developing strategies to overcome them. It is during our week long Interim Week, that our relationships and understandings of each other deepen, forged by the availability of more time and the lowered barriers of normal routine and structure
Less rare are the ones which happen in the classroom. But even in the classroom, it is not the great lecture or demonstration that you do, but almost always is when either 1-1, or in a very small group, that the magic generally happens. It is when involved in social learning we connect and forge stronger bonds with our relationships. It happens when a student, with whom you have been working with, finally gets a concept that was just out of reach.
These are important things to remember. As a teacher or lead learner, we have to remember to create the social space for learning to occur. We have to create spaces where ideas and intersect, collide, and be churned together. It is where relationships are forged and wisdom is passed down.
They won’t remember the details of the lecture on solving two-step equations. They will remember your coaching and guidance when it was needed to solve two-step equations.
And likewise, we need to remember to carve time for our selves, with other teachers and lead learners, to acknowledge successes and celebrate failures. And ask ourselves, daily:
What have I done to provide the best 30 minutes of my students day?
What was happening during the best 30 minutes of my day?
Reflect. Find the common bond and build upon it.