Friday, November 7, 2008

Spirit lines often overlooked.....

A feeling of joy happens every time I have entered her classroom and it’s not the fact that this is her namesake, though, some of you may claim that our names dictate the way in which we view the world. If you are a believer then this truly would be the case.

In this classroom thinking is valued in a way not often seen. It is in the way that Joy interacts with her children that sets her apart. The way in which the language used lets each of her children know that first, they are loved; second, that she expects much; and finally, the teaching that unfolds is based on what her children tell her.

Joy doesn’t tell her children what or how to think, instead, through the demonstrations of her own thought process and the way in which she phrases the questions asked informs her teaching and possible next steps.

Five minutes into my visit, Joy sits on the edge of her seat leaning closer to the students and says, “Tell me more.” This simple gesture of moving closer provides a sense of warmth that resonates throughout the room. A silent agreement that says, “All voices are heard in this space.”

Another student when asked to share her thinking in solving a problem blurted, “I got it wrong.” Joy’s response back was, “That is ok. I want to know what you were thinking along the way.” The child then lifted her thinking from the pages of her life.

The “spirit lines” often overlooked came to life that Thursday morning: “I want to know what you were thinking along the way”

Tell me-until next time…..Teach.