By Ilana Zadok, 8th Grade History Teacher
I decided it was time for reflective practice and had my students reflect on their experience in the Co-Lab so far. I gave out index cards, put questions on the SMARTboard and gave them about ten minutes to consider the impact the room is having on their learning thus far. I couldn’t wait to read their enthusiastic responses. After all, this space is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!
- How has your learning been impacted by learning in the Co-Lab?
- Give 1-2 examples to support the claims you made in #1.
- Provide 1-2 points of constructive feedback about the elements of the room (ex: soft spaces, tables, etc…).
I sat back and watched them. I was excited. They were busy writing. This was going to be amazing. I couldn’t wait to read their responses. After all, isn’t it what they always wanted? They can move, they have choice, they have more control over their learning than they have ever had.
I collected the cards, thanked the students for their honesty and feedback, and the lesson continued.
First chance I got, I read through the cards like a child opening up a pack of baseball cards hoping, willing, for the card he has always been waiting for.
Card one-loving it!
Card 2-loving it!!!!!!
Card 3-LOVING it!
Card 4-Loving it with some suggestions as to how to make it better.
Card 6-HATING EVERYTHING ABOUT IT!
What??!! He must not get it. No, that’s not it. I must not be guiding him right.
I stopped dead in my tracks.
But then, it dawned on me that just as I struggled as child to sit still for so long in a desk with the chair attached, so to, this room just did not work for everyone. I was not giving up… but my bubble had burst.
The next day, I went into the classroom with a different lens. I took off my rose-colored glasses and saw the situation much more clearly. Some students were going to take to it right away, for some it was going to be a slower process and for others, maybe they will come to the conclusion at the end that it is not for them. And that’s ok.
Thank you to the boy who taught me that important lesson that day.
I am forever grateful, for it has made me a better educator.