Voice, Choice, and Being ‘Awake’

Our wing of the school was lucky enough to receive some updates this summer: new carpet and some fresh paint and new flooring in the hallway.  Because of this, it felt like Katie and I had to move (for what seems like the millionth time).  Although putting all of our supplies and items back where they go is time consuming, it gives us both an opportunity to start fresh.  While working in the room one evening staring at spaces of our room that were blank, I took a break and did a little pondering on how lucky I am to work in education where fresh starts happen every single year.  I was reminded of this quote by Frank Herbert:

Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.

I am blessed enough to work in a profession where, every September, I am empowered to do things differently and more importantly, better; I can reawaken, if you will.  I can change how I deliver curriculum, I can change my classroom, I can change how I serve my students and their needs, I can change my attitude, my perspective, and I can reevaluate and goal set along the way.  This is SO great!  I know that Katie and I thrive in that kind of an environment and I hope that is something that makes us special.  We embrace new beginnings, we embrace change, we can even embrace having to set up our classroom yet again 🙂 We are always reflective of our practices, willing to try new things, and are never complacent.
I do believe it’s easy to fall asleep a little when things stay constant and thankfully, especially over these last few years working with Katie, I am always awake 🙂 We are SO professionally invigorated when we change up what and how we teach, when we take a risk and try to teach a new novel or adopt new practices like Genius Hour, when we read a new book with exciting strategies to try, when we are challenged to think differently after going to a presentation, training, or EdCamp, or can learn from another educator we found on Twitter.
With that being said, however, NOTHING keps us more ‘awake’ professionally, than our sixth graders and their amazing ideas.  When you let your students truly have have voice and choice in your classroom, you can never be ‘asleep’ because each group of students and each school year are so different with different interests, different passions, and different desires of how to positively impact the world.
I always, no matter how long I teach, want to be awake… fully awake!  Change?! BRING IT ON! 🙂

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