I sit here and look out at my class full of teenagers , their quiet, their working but are they engaged. I give out an assignment , I go through the criteria for assessment , they ask some questions and then I say “Any other questions?” Silence is the response. They put their heads down and work ….. are they engaged or are they compliant? Is compliancy the death of education. Are we so focused on what they churn out that we forget what they need to internalize? What do we want our kids to be? We use words like lifelong learners , ethical thinkers, digital citizens, environment champions but what do they want? I remember someone once saying – “It doesn’t matter what you want , you want what I tell you”!
I had a student say to me today ” this world is so sad , it depresses me”. How do we help her see the value that she is to this world and that her contribution could change the world?
Is authenticity the heart of engagement? Will engagement struggle to survive if we don’t connect it with authenticity? If we are authentic in what we teach , will engagement follow? Should we be able to disconnect them ?Do we dare ask our kids what they want to learn? Do we ask them how to connect the content we teach with their reality? Which is the more important question – How , what or why? How do I engaged my troubled student so authentically that she cannot help but want to find solutions to this “sad” world?
The brightest days I have as a teacher are when I see kids making real connections to their learning. They bubble with excitement and overflow with joy when their speaking to you. These moments should be the norm rather than the exception. Love to know your thoughts.