The vivid memory of stiff soreness caused by these modern day torture chambers led to my first decisions as a new teacher. To ensure my students wouldn’t have to endure this feeling. Decades ago I replaced this pain along with apathy and boredom with a refined ability to daydream in order to escape the monotonous tone of teachers that refused to see me, or care to relate.
I have committed to reversing this status quo because I have witness what students can accomplish when unleashed onto the real world. They are capable of achieving so much more. Not because this generation is smarter or has access to more information, but because I was capable of more than sitting in that middle school desk answering multiple choice questions. Memory is only a small facet of what intelligence should be considered. Yet, that is what we do!
We continue the tradition of testing memory. If you have a good memory, you will be a successful student. But, in the new digital age, these memorizable facts are ever available at the touch of a finger. So, testing for this ability becomes irrelevant and employers are looking for more. Yet, in education the tradition continues in upholding the singularity of what type of intelligence matters for this next generation.
In my short decade of reflective teaching I have stumbled upon another way. You can measure growth beyond memorizable facts. Being honored by my former students finally gave me the courage to speak out on their behalf. They want more teachers to let go, and let them lead. They want to show YOU what they are capable of achieving. And, they want to learn in the way that help them grow as individuals. So I’m asking you to let go. Don’t control them, unleash them into the real world. Let them participate in community service learning and you will be surprised by what you inspire! #realworldlearning