Oh Professional Development days… show me a teacher who would not rather spend the day with their sprouts and I’ll show you a unicorn… but I digress. I do my best to stay awake, interested, and engaged. I drink a lot of water and take lots of bathroom breaks – I’m guessing this is what many of my sprouts do when I’m not super entertaining, but who knows?
Anyway, one of my sessions today was on the Common Core… it’s coming! We learned about the new standards and then would break out into small groups to discuss pros, cons, and challenges. One of our questions was something like, what are some ah-ha and what are some uh-oh’s that you thought of. Well, after sitting and talking about standards and pushing our kids harder and further, I couldn’t help but wonder (cause I’m a wondering kind of guy) – what about the joy and love of learning?
Now naturally, the Common Core (like almost any curriculum, benchmarks, or standards) doesn’t explicitly involve instilling a love of learning, but the more we push and expect, I worry about children losing their passion for learning. As a kindergarten teacher, one of the most important parts of my job is introducing the excitement learning brings. The more information I have to deliver and assessing I have to do, the less time I have to stop and smell the roses along the way.
As one of my group members reminded me, it’s the way we deliver the instruction that counts. It can be challenging to remember our delivery is critical. As we forge forward, I will try to remember that I truly love learning and more than anything, if I can teach my sprouts this, I’ll have succeeded.