I focused on whether or not they felt welcomed into the community and whether or not they felt heard. I looked beyond the College Board’s pre-determined learning outcomes to students’ level of engagement, play, and curiosity.
Consent is necessary to respecting students, and to valuing and empowering them. We cannot fully expect students to authentically participate in their education — and the education of their peers — when they are being forced to do so.
Documents play significant roles in our practices. It is an invitation to see what documents do to our work. They promote particular educational values and establish norms and conventions that we then must follow (over time) blindly and diligently.
It was time to open up the classroom. I was tired of doing class on my own. Tired of designing lesson plans that minutely mapped every second of my time together with the students. It was time for students to take ownership of class.