by Jenn Hayhurst
If you’re a teacher in New York state then you know that summer recess has only just begun. Spending the last Thursday before the end of school with Chris Lehman was an inspiring way to close out the 2016/2017 year. On June 22, 2017, we concluded another year talking more about how to question rather than dispensing answers. We celebrated this ideal by diving into a thoughtful conversation around Chris Lehman’s wonderful book, Energize Research Reading and Writing. After all, this is at its core, what #G2Great is really all about; loving the questions and welcoming the search to know more. Chris Lehman’s message extends beyond research to every aspect of teaching and learning.
What does curiosity look like in the classroom?
Curiosity is the ember that ignites the flame. It burns hot and with great intensity in the heart of every person who has a desire to learn. Chris invites us to grant freedom of choice because this is how we empower our students to engage the world: Curiosity looks like choice…
We get to know who they are and what they aspire to become when we vest ourselves in their “passion projects”. As we encourage them to research their meaningful topics we are acknowledging that learning and teaching are synonymous. When we match the real intention for research to the classroom experience for research we create an atmosphere of infectious learning. We cultivate an environment for learning that is fluid, changeable, and authentic. As educators, we must be brave and embrace learning and its glorious mess.
What does embracing process over product look like in the classroom?
Embracing a process mindset means valuing it enough to let it grow over time. It means recognizing that student writing is meant to be authentic and is not a thing to be boxed into neat paragraphs that teachers presuppose. Process is integrated with classroom culture because it is a live presence that is engendered through the lives of your students. It contributes towards the fund of knowledge that is being discovered and rediscovered every day that we make room for the hearts and minds of the young researchers we are striving to create. Process looks like agency…
What connects agency and collaboration in the classroom?
We forge agentive learning when we create space for collaborative work. This is essential because important learning happens when we entrust the responsibility for learning with our students. Teachers who live the life of a learner understand that we need space to collaborate with other educators. That’s why we are here celebrating learning at #G2Great each Thursday. We read and write blog posts because we understand that we are researching ways to hone our craft every day. We talk, we question, we teach and learn in the moment. This is the way we live the life of a researcher. We are the ones whose actions lead students to joyful learning. We do all these things with gusto and with open minds and hearts…
We are grateful to Chris for awakening our inner researchers. His message to us is to continue to read and write and discover the questions that motivate us to learn and grow. Energize! Be intentional and stay curious.
Resources and links from Chris Lehman:
ENERGIZE! Research Reading/Writing by Christopher Lehman
Books By Christopher Lehman
The Educator Collaborative