I am reading an article by Bruce Hammonds, “ Why do we all need to be life long learners”, that makes me think, especially one thing. When Bruce Hammonds write “For students to remain positive towards learning our classrooms learning communities need to provide students with the following vital elements.Students need to be given choice about what it is they are to learn...”, it actually makes me feel good.
I explain. Last week, I asked my year 9 students what they want me to teach them. I have enough of teaching them what I HAVE to teach them. So I asked my students. Some boys want me to teach them about cars, well I felt embarrassed at first because I know nothing about cars at all, and then I said to myself “ you know what that could be a good thing for me as I would learn something”. But what actually surprised me is that my students want me to teach them about what I am supposed to teach, I mean they asked to be taught about “giving directions in French, shapes, animals etc…”, exactly what I will teach them soon.
I am thinking that next year instead of teaching the curriculum, I am going to ask the students at the beginning of the year what they want to learn, knowing anyway that they would ask for the topics from the curriculum. If I start that way they will feel more enthusiastic and will feel that they are in control of their own learning. I hope by doing that they stay happy learners.
I will write another post about that in a year time to say if it works :-)