What does this mean?
To me it means:
Relevance = why do I need to learn/understand this? Not just because it’s what’s next in the curriculum or not because it is one of your favorite things to teach, or because it is on the MAP test. Getting to the heart of the students and connecting it to them and their everyday life helps make the subject matter relevant.
Give the learning relevance. For example, essays for an authentic audience such as a blog and then sending the link out to your PLN to have them comment (not just to the teacher reading it) on the students writing. Having the students create, think, explore, or design a product using the technology available to them and that they use regularly to show mastery.
Allow them to choose how they create or design- video, prezi, podcast, etc. Don’t tell them ALL it has to be a tri-fold poster board, or a PP, or an essay. Allow them to choose. There are several free outlets available for students to produce/create these products. In fact they know more about these presentation tools than we do. Remember they are Digital Natives and know more about these tools than many of us.
Rigor = Addressing the needs of ALL students and pushing them beyond their current level. Stretching and pushing them and allowing them to Learn from failing.
Rigor in the classroom is NOT worksheets. It is NOT do all the odd problems and check your work in the back. It is NOT having the students read the section and answer the questions at the end. It is NOT the teacher being the only person delivering the content. I think you get the point.
Rigor is allowing the students to learn by creating, producing, and researching multiple sources. NOT just filling in the blanks, coloring in a bubble, or regurgitating facts. Critical Thinking, Collaboration, and Communication and NOT sit and get.
Relationships = The quote by President Roosevelt “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care” still applies today with children and adults.
When’s the last time you asked a colleague or student “how are you doing?” and really meant it?
Do you have enough trust in one another to visit each others classrooms to observe each other?
Do you know ALL of your students? Do you make it a point to speak to every student in your room every day? Do you smile at them even on a bad day? Your worst day may be the best day for some students.
Make connections. . . even with the _________’s of the classroom. (fill in the blank with the name of the student/adult that pushes your buttons)