Saturday, May 14, 2011

Students & Collaboration

We learn more by looking for the answers to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.” ~ Lloyd Alexander

The following is an excerpt from my PYP Exhibition Journal.

If the first week of our PYP Exhibition was marked by excitement, I would say week two will be remembered for its sense of purpose. Students have now settled in and become focused and independent, using the investigation planner as we had hoped. While creating lines of inquiry and identifying concepts and skills might have have been new to them, their familiarity with the investigation planner, as well as the many opportunities they have had throughout their years in the PYP to collaborate, have prepared them well for this experience.

As a teacher it is gratifying to see students rise to the challenge and tackle a complex problem, applying their skills appropriately and building on what they know. The hardest part for me is to step back, to remember that I do not need to intervene immediately (or at all!) if there is a problem. I know as adults the urge to ‘help’ is almost overwhelming at times, but by allowing students to find their own answers and solve their problems independently we are empowering them as learners. They might opt for different solutions than the ones we would have found, but it will be their decision.

It is that sense of pride and accomplishment that we want for our students and ironically, we cannot give it to them. I love being a teacher!!

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