Last Thursday unintentionally worked out that all three of my classes were student-led, as will be a professional development session I led in the afternoon. So often, as teachers, we find ourselves at the front of the room, orchestrating and guiding. More and more, I am trying to back out of a front person role, and into a facilitator, guide, and support person. And it is deepening learning in a powerful way.
In my yoga class, when one student leader gave a cue I hadn’t offered before, a girl raised her hand. “Can I just say that it was so helpful for you to say that?” she mused. In my wellness class, as we watched student presentations, I asked the audience to distill what made presentations strong. Instead of standing at the front of the room telling them, just by directing them to pay attention, and having them share their thoughts out, they could do the learning for themselves.
A worthwhile inquiry may be, “What are the ways we can step back in our classroom? What roles and activities can we give up control over? Where will students learning deepen for our absence, rather than presence?”