Saturday, December 21, 2013

Growing with SOLE

             Once upon a time teaching was about building relationships, demonstrating a caring attitude, and working to make lessons interesting and fun. Since I decided a few years ago to back up and treat my students with the respect and caring of years gone by I have found a different voice in the classroom. I care about curriculum. I care more about the students. I work with them to hear their voices, give them a stronger belief in themselves and what they can accomplish and build on their confidence. This is the area where teachers need to work on the most, building student confidence. It once was that this was a given because the material was presented and built on until the students had grasped it. Now it is rushed through like an assembly line because “this has to be taught before I move on to something totally different.” My students in response are more eager to learn, to ask questions and to think creatively. My behaviour problems have toned themselves down to acceptable levels, most of the time. Academic issues are still there but students now feel supported rather than cast aside. Everyone is treated the same and pitches in to help. At times it is the stronger students who lead. At times the weaker students demonstrate the positives they have to help the others. The creative kids feel vindicated because they can show those whose creativity is lacking ways to make their work more interesting.  

                My change in attitude towards my students and my interest in using SOLE, Self Organized Learning Environments, helped facilitate this. SOLE allowed the students to see each other as part of something larger. It allowed them time to work and discuss the topics presented by them. They took ownership for their learning and became closer as a group than they ever would have been without it. SOLE has changed their lives and awakened in them the possibilities of what they can be when they feel they are a part of something.


                How about you? Do you feel a part of something? Join the SOLE movement and grow.