As a GT teacher, I only see most of my students once a week. I worry a lot that, once the classroom door closes behind them at the end of the day, the hours we spent together quickly fade. That’s why I try to do my best to connect our class activities to their real lives. Every once in awhile I like to shock or provoke them into considering something that can’t easily be forgotten. Ethical discussions like The Trolley Car Dilemma tend to “stick.” Students bring them up weeks later – sometimes even the following year. Yesterday, my 2nd graders went on a field trip where some of them ate fried insects. I’m pretty sure they won’t forget about that any time soon. In fact, I’m pretty sure I won’t forget about that any time soon.
I guess that what I hope is, at the end of the day, when a parent asks a child, “What did you do in school today?” the child can give a better answer than, “Nothing.”
No, I take that back.
At the end of the day, what I really hope is that the parent doesn’t have to ask the child, “What did you do in school today?” I hope that the child is so excited about her day that she will blurt out a summary without any need for prompting. I hope that the child will sit at the dinner table and say, “We talked about this today. What do you the rest of you think?”
I hope the child thinks about how much his teacher cares about him. I hope the child thinks about questions that still need to be answered. I hope that the child doesn’t dwell on what he was taught, but on what he learned.
And, most importantly, I hope the child can’t wait to learn more tomorrow.