Dare to Care: The Genius Hour-What Have I Learned?
Dare to Care. Immediately, I was excited with my assignment as Mrs. Krebs' blog stood out as very interesting and thought provoking. The title in itself made me think of a mission statement for all educators. Certainly it is our job to educate these children for the future, but we must also take each class and establish relationships with them so that they understand that we do what we do for them, not just to pay our bills. They are our future just as much as we are theirs. They must learn from us in order to grow and flourish for themselves. In the first post of Mrs. Krebs' blog that I read was A Year of Genius Hour-What Have I Learned?, I could tell that she and I shared similar opinions. After watching The Puzzle of Motivation a video featuring Dan Pink, Mrs. Krebs was re-inspired after reading a few tweets commenting on the idea. Mrs. Krebs gave her students a three hour block to explore the things that each of their hearts desired in the beginning of this genius hour. Within the last 15 months, she reports that her students were eager to learn their unique trades. When questioned about the validity of this assignment, she explained that the students had no trouble remaining on task since they were following their own interests. One of the few issues Mrs. Krebs faced with the genius hour were some students who just wanted to be told what to do instead of looking inside themselves and coming up with a project on their own.
In order to alleviate their mind-blocks, Mrs. Krebs had each of these students make a list of 10 things they love to do and learn, 10 things that they are good at, and 10 things that they wonder. Mrs. Krebs explains that she is teaching her students to be creative, and in her conclusion, she shares a video from a fellow genius hour leader, Gallit Zvi, about her students opinions of The Genius Hour One statement Mrs. Krebs made, that really jumped out at me, read, "They have chosen what they want to learn; no one dictated it. They are given freedom to take as long as needed to be satisfied with their learning." If I could sum up my goal for teaching my students, this could not say it better. As one of the students of Mrs. Zvi said, "Everyone has a different passion. So, you don't wanna learn, like your teacher's passion. You want to learn your passion". I absolutely want my students to follow their passion, learn something from it so that they can take what they have learned and put it towards their future. I do not want to be the teacher on Charlie Brown. I want to be the educator that every student wants to have before they move on to higher levels of education.
In my first comment to Mrs. Krebs, I began by introducing myself, as well as informing her that I was a student at the University of South Alabama in EDM 310. I then expressed my amazement by her post, and told her that I felt there was no better way to teach students than allowing them to teach themselves. I also told her that I would love to apply her genius hour in my future classroom. I concluded by giving her a link to my blog so that she may read anything I post including my review of her posts, and thanked her for such an inspiring technique.
Dare to Care: Must the Students?
Must the Students?. The unnamed teacher stated that "the students must be able to explain WHY their project is worth learning". Perplexed whether or not she agrees with this statement, Mrs. Krebs further explains that she encourages her students to ask an "essential question", but does not pass judgement on whatever the question may be. To justify this, she states that she cannot always explain why she seeks out her projects, she just wants to learn them. She asks her students to reflect on their projects in student blogs afterwards. In conclusion of her post she asks a few questions for others to give their input:
Do students need specific learning goals during genius hour?
Must students be able to explain why their project is worth learning?
In my comment to Mrs. Krebs' post, I expressed my remaining awe of the genius hour. I explained that if we are given the chance to pursue an object, or task, of our desire, we are more likely to put more effort into its completion. She could be aiding her students in possibly making monumental discoveries by allowing them to explore their creativity. My concern is that we must not push students into the mainstream professions; instead, we must allow them to follow their interests and see what we can all learn from each other. Closing out my comment, I stated that I was eager to see what inspiration Mrs. Krebs came up with next.