No two ways about it, these are challenging times for educators. We miss teaching our students but we also want everyone to be safe. I believe this is a time for us to regroup, reflect, and redefine what students really need from us. And from my 40+ years in education, I know we need to give the learning back to them. This is our chance to make real the promise of student centered education. I had a professor in college who said that the one doing the talking was the one doing the learning. It’s time to get the students talking. Here are my top ten strategies to implement true student centered learning:
- Ask them what they need and then listen to their answers.
- Help them set goals and teach strategies to meet them.
- Embrace and support curiosity.
- Teach student led inquiry.
- Cultivate respectful discourse.
- Hook them on reading of their choice.
- Encourage them to write about things that matter.
- Celebrate all the possibilities.
- Let them teach us technology tips and tricks.
- Form close communities.
If we truly want our students to not only survive but thrive in these challenging times, we have to change the way we teach. If we continue to focus on covering content, completing the previous year curriculum, and preparing for standardized testing, we will lose them. And we might not get them back.