Saturday, July 30, 2011

Standing at the Threshold

This is the last weekend before our school officially starts back for teachers. This past week as I worked with our new teachers during orientation sessions, it occurred to me that this is the threshold or the entryway into a new, yet familiar, adventure. If I had to choose a theme for this new adventure, it would be "empowering learners." For some of you who have read my previous posts, you will notice that this is a familiar theme of mine. Somehow things always come back to this one theme.

This summer has been a time of preparing materials for learners. Two of our teachers have helped me with creating more FAQ documents and video tutorials in an effort to further empower our teachers as learners with digital tools.

As I talked with new teachers this week, I found myself saying multiple times, "Don't worry. This is all written down for you. Your mentor will help you as well." Our school has a mentoring program that matches up new teachers with veteran teachers.

So, now, what can I take from what I've done for the teachers and apply it to my classroom of 6th graders? 1) Prepare materials on the front-end that will provide scaffolding and guidance while empowering the students as learners. 2) Identify those students early on who can provide mentoring to others.

When I looked up the definition of "threshold," I found the definition of the bottom of the doorway. But I really liked this definition, "the magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result, or condition to occur or be manifested."(

So I am in search of that point that must be exceeded in order for the result of substantive and rigorous learning to occur. Join me, won't you?

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