CSLE is a Yes for Me
I think the education system is looking for validation that what they are doing is working and they try to achieve that by test scores. I’ve suddenly become the toddler who wants to play the “Why?” Game like the video described. Why do they need validation? If they believed in their product (teachers) then don’t you think our students are learning? I myself am starting to make the connections of why it is so important to allow exploration and play within our classrooms. Now, I’ve always been a proponent of play-based learning. I think there are countless reasons why my kinder babies need this in their life, but I will admit that I started to wonder how this would be possible as students got older. BUT, then I realized that’s exactly what I’m doing right now in this program! Okay, so maybe I’m not playing in the construction center or using Playdoh as I type this, but this is the grown up version of play-based learning. I’m learning by doing. I’m building and failing and rebuilding and finding what works for me and what doesn’t and I have a justification as to why I believe in all of these things.
Reflecting on this previous school year, I thought I was both proactive and reactive in creating a significant learning environment for my students. I feel as if my centers were proactive. I was allowing my students to work through problems on their own and with their team to figure out how to solve any given “problem.” Where I now see that I was not giving them the appropriate opportunities was during my small group time. I was tailoring this in a reactive manner. I was checking to see where they were and then figuring out what I needed to provide them to help them. I don’t think this was the best way to help them thrive in an authentic learning environment. I feel as though I am saying, “You’ve failed here, let’s work on mastering this topic and then I’ll see where you fail next.” I now believe it was narrow minded of me to think that. Yes that student was struggling with that specific topic, but maybe if I would allowed them to discuss it further with their team and others or continued to provide scaffolding through different activities that the student would have gathered the skills and experience they needed to master the topic on their own with the environment that I was able to create for them.