On Their Own

I have to admit to feeling somewhat disconnected this fall. After all, I’ve taught for most of the past 30 years, recently at Fredericksburg Academy as the instructional tech coordinator and an English teacher. Fall can be difficult for ex-teachers who love being in the classroom.

Today, a colleague shared with me an email and screenshot of work her kids were doing. She had sent it out to the entire faculty and then realized I might enjoy seeing what the students were up to. She was right. So cool.

Here’s her email:

Here is a little story about young, independent, tech savvy students overcoming their obstacles and taking responsibility. Blair is absent today, but she emailed me this morning to tell me that she had made arrangements with her partner about the paper that they were supposed to write together in class. Now, during class both students are typing on the same Google doc at the same time and chatting with each other in the Google chat feature. I thought that it was cool that I could check in on and literally watch students as they worked in my classroom, but this is even better. The best part: they set this up on their own.

Thanks, @jclarkevans for keeping me in the loop. I especially enjoy this coming from Blair, a student who claimed she just “didn’t love” using the laptops two years ago when I taught her ninth grade! (However, she was the one most intrigued by my talk about digital identity.) We never know where our students will go when we allow them to figure things out on their own. And teachers like Jennifer allow this to happen.