In her most recent post, Pernille Ripp writes about the toll it takes on teachers when what we’re doing in the classroom fails to produce the desired results:
“And yet, sometimes we don’t work miracles. Sometimes even the best of ideas fail. Sometimes the team cannot brainstorm anything else to to try. Sometimes even what has worked for every child before this one, fails. And we carry that failure with us as yet another added weight in already heavy load. We carry that failure as if it means that we have failed all of the children we teach, as if we will never be a good educator again.”
She goes on to encourage us to forgive ourselves; that we are only human and can only do so much. And she’s right. I appreciate her words, as usual, because somehow, Pernille is able to, time and time again, articulate feelings I am having right. at. that. moment. We do need to practice being kinder to ourselves.
Which then prompted further thinking…
I keep wondering if our view of learning is still too narrow. Still contingent on what works for “most” of our students. Are we still confusing “doing school” with “learning?” Reflect on the structure of learning in your classroom; do the learning minutes allow students to move in all directions? Have you removed the ceiling and the walls? Where is voice and choice? How have you allowed for pace, place and path? If what I want is for my students to become better readers and writers; if we agree that no two children learn alike; then, what should those moments be filled with?
What could be changed to allow for more growth?