The other day, Bonny and I were reflecting on how engaged the students are during Inquiry Buddies once they start creating something, like a model or a website to present their learning. We were also noticing that it is while creating that they come up with and need to find the most important questions surrounding their initial inquiry. Often the questions at the beginning are not ‘deep’, yet once students start creating, their questioning and research becomes deeper and more meaningful.
All weekend I have been thinking about parts of that conversation and how the creating process of Inquiry Buddies connects to my own teaching. As a teacher I often think to myself “this lesson isn’t working” or “this class doesn’t understand ____________.” I ponder it, I think about it and I try to come up with a plan. Sometimes, I do and other times I don’t.
I usually come up with the plan quickest when I start 'doing' something new. Through the research, learning and reflective journey I can then better create a lesson that meets their needs. The excitement of finding a new approach or of tailoring a lesson to a new group is what drives me. My passion for learning spurs me on to new problem solving and learning solutions with each new class.
It is easy to teach the same lesson the same way every year. It is equally easy to complain when the lesson fails with this year’s group when it worked wonderfully the year before. It is even easier to blame it on something other than the lesson plan or project idea. It is much harder to reflect on why it didn’t work this year and then create a plan to fix it. Each group of students is unique and different; thus requiring different approaches and ideas to help engage them. Through my own teacher inquiry process I am realizing that I am mirroring the learning journey of students when they participate in inquiry based activities.