Thursday, March 3, 2016

Watching them soar!

As an educator, one of the best parts of my job is when students become the teachers.  Even better is when those students are teaching teachers.  I've seen this several times in my career thus far, from my students presenting at MACUL last year, to students presenting at district events.  Every single time I feel like a proud parent!

This past week, I experienced this again, but from a different perspective.  Mercy High School hosted their 3rd annual Tech Talk last week, a day filled with different sessions on technology in education from all angles.  I presented a session on how an iPad can become a teacher's best friend, and how to integrate technology into all areas of the school day.  My colleague, Trevett Allen, who is the director of the Innovation Hub, also presented.  He had a two hour session in the afternoon about collaboration using student expert teams.

And experts did he bring with him.

Watching the eighth graders, and two seventh grade apprentices walk into the building that afternoon, arms full of the resources they needed for their session, including one of the 3D printers, my heart swelled.  I was more excited to watch the kids present than I was for my own presentations.  And seeing the focus, determination, an excitement on their faces made it all the more exciting for me.

And I've only known these kids for six months.

But in those six months, I've been continuously amazed at what they are willing to try, to take on, to explore, to learn, to mess up, and to grow.  The shared their experiences with a level of poise and professionalism that I haven't seen in kids their age.  They prepared posters, props, and scripts.  They had activities planned and ready with supplies organized.  The organized the room to meet the needs of their presentation.  The seventh grade apprentices document the whole process.  And both Trevett and I sat there amazed.

When kids are given just enough freedom, just enough ownership, and just the right amount of support, it's astounding how high they can soar!

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