As another school year comes to a close, the May #blogamonth topic is about “how to finish strong?”. As an ardent believer in the continuous nature of learning, and one who, though a principal, readily relates to Mark Twain’s quote, “I have never let schooling interfere with my education,” I feel the trick to a strong finish, is not to finish at all. I believe we must reframe the end of the school year as a part of the learning cycle that certainly represents a transition but does not equate to a gap in student learning. I believe there should be high expectations for the learning and “homework” that should occur over the summer.
Each child should be tasked with embodying the learning that they achieved during the past 9 months and using these new skills or perspectives in the summer settings (be it at camp, by the swimming pool, at a summer job, or simply enjoying down time with family and friends) in that they will interface to learn something new about themselves, their environment and/or the world. The more we are able to shift our teachers and our school’s role from dissemination of learning to that of facilitation and/or a laboratory for learning and exploration, the easier it will be to see the responsibility that each student has to continue their own learning over winter, summer, and weekend breaks.
“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”
Let’s reclaim the joy in learning so that the end of May simply becomes the start of a long independent study unit, that when shared in August will benefit each child, each class and each school community.Let’s reclaim the joy in learning so that the end of May simply becomes the start of a long independent study unit, that when shared in August will benefit each child, each class and each school community.
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