Saturday I spent several hours reading the first drafts of research outlines (outlines are the Essential Objective at the junior level, not a paper. I’d much rather read papers).
Last year I somehow convinced the other junior English teachers that we should do Challenge-Based Learning for the research EO, which requires students to really think outside the box and do some legitimate, relevant research, instead of simply regurgitating what other people have said about a given topic. It also provides them the opportunity to do a decent amount of reflection.
A couple of students are researching the effects of teachers/administrators/adults not recognizing students for what they do well. As I read these outlines, I felt chastized, because I am guilty of this. Rather than identify what my students are doing well, I too often focus on their shortcomings, both academically and behaviorally.
So today, I am grateful that I have students creative enough to research a topic that I’m really learning from. I forget sometimes that if I let myself, I can learn from my students. I just have to open my eyes and my ears to take in what they are trying to teach me.