This is the part of summer where potential outweighs actual. My classroom is clean and quiet and I spend a few hours each day playing with what 'could be' for next year. This summer's Big Hairy Audacious Goal: Change how I've been doing things in a fundamental way. As the summer barrels forward, the potential because actual--either it makes its way into the curriculum or it doesn't. By
August, the reality of students in a couple weeks requires fine tuning, not major overhaul. But now is the time for dreaming big.
This summers big dream:
- Spend three quarters teaching American History, not two.
- Spend one quarter teaching Civics not as a US Government class but as a Civics Laboratory
- Fold my econ module into American History... tie it to historical events rather than as a stand alone entity.
- Completely changing the research portion of the class. This is a big deal in my world. Almost everything I do has a connection to research. By lengthening the American History module, all of the projects and assessments have to change as a result.
- Fully integrate oratory and art into the classroom experience. I have been playing with some ideas for speeches and speech-writing as well as figuring out how to make the classroom move visual and interactive.
Part of this impetus for change comes from remarks by Sir Ken Robinson in the video above. Some highlights:
- Students are naturally different and diverse--science and math are important but not sufficient, "a real education has to give equal weight to the arts, humanities, physical education..."
- Curiosity-if you can lighten the spark ... children are natural learners. Curiosity is the engine of achievement.
- School level control--education doesn't go on in the committee rooms or legislative halls but in the classroom...
I'm excited to see where potential takes me this summer.