Today was an amazing day for me. I saw one of my visions for what I think high school should be like played out. A few of my colleagues (one business teacher and two family consumer science teachers) were working on a concept to cross their classes into one day with a huge project. You think it would be a mess and students goofing off all day. It was just the opposite of that.
"I saw students collaborating, teaching each other, working together, and learning… without the bounds of a 48 minute bell schedule."
The Entrepreneurship along with the Foods and Nutrition students worked together throughout the day to come up with a business concept and a brand to pitch for a food truck business. There was even plated food samples! It was an amazing day. I saw students collaborating, teaching each other, working together, and learning… without the bounds of a 48 minute bell schedule.
At the end of the day, the student teams pitched their concepts to fellow students and a panel of judges. I had a moment to ask a few students what they thought of the day and their responses were exactly what I thought they would be. Here are a few:
“Today went so fast. I learned so much about cooking and business.”
“I learned more today than I have in regular classes over the last 9 weeks.”
“I loved that we were free to dig deeper in our work without interruptions.”
Three of my fellow teachers worked for over a month to make this day happen. Yes it was hard work, and the payoff was huge. Students learned. They learned a lot. The teachers who set it up had little support from and they did it anyway. That didn’t stop the project.
"As a progressive teacher in a traditional school, I learned that you have to bend the rules to make progress happen in an outdated system."
So what did I learn from my colleagues and students today? I learned that this type of learning does work. It works well. As a progressive teacher in a traditional school, I learned that you have to bend the rules to make progress happen in an outdated system. I also learned that if you want to do something, do it first and apologize later. I learned that you will not have support going into change that you want. You can find what you need and start there and build. Build your program the way that it works for your students with or without support. Do the right thing and work hard to #disrupteducation. I hold these three fellow teachers in high regard for what they did for their students. They took risks. They bent rules. They didn’t wait. They performed. They followed through. They taught their students. They are progressive educators. I respect that!