Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Email to Teachers and Students who were part of #choose2matter at my school

I just wanted to share this email I wrote to the teachers who allowed me to work with some kids for the Choose2Matter project. The reason I share this is because I want people to know how awesome students are and how sometimes grades cannot justify the learning that takes place.

I have been writing up descriptions for each student and trying to figure out grades for each student. I have come to the conclusion that they all deserve A's. Some moved further ahead then others, but this project really gave students a reason to stop and think. As George Couros said we have to move from our Point A to our own Point B. I think students did just that.

I will share the Google Doc with all student feedback so you can see my notes sent to each student, but I know some of you are needing grades so wanted to send this out.

This project really forced students to get out of their comfort zone. Some spun their wheels longer than others, but I think that is only natural when and something we have to accept when tackling a project like this that forces them to really think on their own and be an advocate for their own learning and passions.

What I thought was most interesting in this project was the development of voice. So many of them waited and waited for instructions and step by step teaching. When they finally realized this was not going to happen they began to take things into their own hands and lead. I believe that once they did this they saw how powerful this can be because they instantly started getting feedback and responses. It was a unique teaching opportunity. I honestly felt that I learned more than any of them and actually it gave me insight into things that I need to do teach more and new ideas to explore.

This project also made me realize the the problem with students thinking on their own. The problem is that they don't know what the problems really are. This project brought us straight into reality and I think opened many of their eyes to the issues facing our own city. I know that I have seen things much differently since doing this project both in terms of the our community and also the power of student voice.

Thank you for the opportunity to work with these students. It was a great way to end the year. Many of them are actually working throughout the summer to keep the project and their own projects going. How cool is that! That is passion at its finest. Especially this time of year when the kids are done and cannot wait to the escape the halls and classrooms of school.


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