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- International Mother Language Day-February 21st - February 25, 2016
- "Dear Future Me..."A Great Reflection Assignment for Students - February 1, 2016
- Thank You In Advance: The Power of Expectation - January 15, 2016
- Under the Guise of Inclusion - November 20, 2015
- Therapy Dogs and Schools - October 15, 2015
- SUPERPOWER Schools - October 13, 2015
- When Life Happens While You Teach - September 22, 2015
- "I'm Her Favorite Student!" - August 31, 2015
- Good Writing vs. Great Writing: Leading the Way - April 27, 2015
As a teacher, have you ever thought about the power of the almighty "question?" Without questions where would we be as a society, as students, as teachers, as classroom communities? One day I found a website that listed the top ten philosophical questions of all time. The #1 question (of course) "Does God exist?" The second was: "What is the meaning of life?" (we all saw that one coming, didn't we?). The next was a little more surprising: "Why is there something rather than nothing?" We as humans are unique because we question. What would life be like if we didn't? What would our classrooms be like if our students wouldn't question?
Hopefully, you have a classroom full of many curious minds that ask lots of good questions, but what if you have a classroom that doesn't? If you have a classroom devoid of questions, you know that it's perhaps not your most favorite class to teach. You feel like you are in a tennis match by yourself. So how do we create or maintain the curious classroom and encourage questions.
This may be done in several ways: First, reach the student where they are. Students are not usually interested in what you have to teach until you tap into their world. Make your lessons relevant so that the students will want to be curious. Next, give them open ended situations to which they must ask a question. If curiosity is still lacking try some experiments, such as having them write down their top ten philosophical questions of all time. Perhaps have them put questions into a hat, and pull one out at a time and have classroom discussions. The most important thing to do, encourage curiosity! If they do not ask, we may not be completely reaching our students. You are a good teacher, but you are NOT a mind reader. If students don't share their struggles or their confusion, or just plain curiosity, we are failing to teach effectively, the way we truly want to teach.
They say that curiosity killed the cat, but it can build your classroom up to the level that you are perhaps seeking. So, instead of dreading that classroom "devoid of questions," embrace it! Don't give up on students that don't enjoy learning quite as much as others. We know they care about something, we just have to get CURIOUS and decide just what that "something" is!