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Morning Minutes: January 12, 2016

“What is love”?  “Why are people so anti-GMO?”  “What is the purpose of homework?” “Would the world be a happier place if everyone exercised?”  Round 2 is officially underway.  Yesterday, during our weekly check-in, students shared their topics/questions for their independent-learning projects, the above being a sampling of some of the cool research questions my students are pursuing.

Though the core of the project is the same this time, they did negotiate some changes: less paperwork, removal of process from the presentation, a mini-lesson on how to make a proper bibliography, and freedom to decide the sequence of sharing required elements during the presentation.  Of course, these things didn’t just present themselves immediately–it took the kids a bit to trust the negotiating process, to trust that I would actually compromise, but once they found their voices, the flood gates opened and a true dialogue took place, arriving at a mutually agreed upon end.

And it took me a while to trust the process, too, wanting to work my way back into the driver’s seat–my comfort zone, but with the help of my students holding me accountable, I stayed on the passenger side and let them drive.  I suspect next time I may end up in the backseat, and eventually maybe outside the vehicle as they take more ownership and control of their own learning.  I may have to get used to a new comfort zone.

Thanks for tuning in.  Have a terrific Tuesday, all.  I’d love to hear from more of you. There are a number of posts that you can chime in on, or if there is something else you want to talk about, email me at, and I will help start the conversation.  Your words matter.  They matter more when you share them.


2 Replies to “Morning Minutes: January 12, 2016”

  • I wish I could “like” this with a thumbs up! I’m proud of you babe. Specifically, I’m proud that you are a learner still, even after these 20 years as a teacher. I’m also proud of you for trusting the kids that you know so well and have such a solid relationship with. Young people are amazing!!!!! We need to let our students show us what they can do more often. The “taking the wheel” analogy is very fitting. I can’t wait to hear all about their final products.

  • I love reading the Super’s thoughts. Reminds me of the old days-Red Bull and cookies for breakfast along with some words of wisdom. You look to be venturing into uncharted territory at least for this teacher. I’m curious to know how you balance the pressure of high stakes testing and demands with your new style of teaching. At the end of my career, I felt the need to squeeze teaching and learning into every single second of every day. It was demanding. The style of teaching you are venturing into was what I invisioned back at the beginning of my career. It is more student driven. It would make school and learning more pleasant and not just something teachers do to you. I like it.

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