Friday, August 01, 2008

What if summer learning happened all year?

I don't know about you, but summer for me has been a time to do many different types of things. I took 2 online classes (very cool!), taught some music lessons, swam, worked on a book, played computer Scrabble, wrote some e-mails about improving our school, connected with some school families, took a trip, and generally spaced out my obligations so they weren't making me crazy.

Of course, I'm a teacher, so I get to do that. I apologize to the people with year-round jobs- imagine your years as a student , perhaps.

I recently read a book about Results Only Work Environment (Why Work Sucks and and How To Fix It). It is about people at Best Buy and their efforts to do work differently- to use results rather than time, to delete nonproductive meetings, and to "make every day seem like Saturday".

I am going to aim at doing this at my school this year. I would like to be emphasizing work and not time, and I'm hoping for a "learning explosion" (or at least wishing for it! :) In order to do this I think I will work on helping students design better and better projects- things they really want to learn about. I will use Google Docs so I can "look in" on their work. And I will try to free myself somewhat from the thought that my presence is necessary for them to do work. If I look at outcomes more, I'm hoping that they will pay more attention to them also.

Wish me luck! If you want to discuss these ideas, please write back!