This week we spent three days in the library as you all researched topics for your inquiry based projects that are coming due next week. I loved every minute watching you guys formulate a plan to teach the class about your concept. I cannot wait for this week when you all have the chance to actually deliver the lessons to the class .I have to think some of you finally gained an empathy for the tough job of teaching.
It is not as easy as it seems.
As you all worked, I moved around to each table and sat with you to listen to your ideas. I helped steer some of you in a direction that might work for your team. For others, you already had a clear plan of attack. You divided the work on the written portion and decided how to divide the work in your presentations as well.
You thought you were doing it for a grade, but I have news for you, you were actually doing it for life. I'm not sure you were aware, but all of the skills you employed this week are skills that will make you an incredible employee one day. Think about it:
1) Working together as a team
2) Narrowing down a topic
3) Delegating responsibilities
4) Communicating with one another
5) Being confused, moving past it
6) Trying to figure out the expectations (together)
7) Creating a product together
8) Learning to work with people's differences
9) Asking the kind of questions that will help you get to the answer
10) Being accountable to a team; showing up on time and getting it done
11) Listening to the ideas of others without thinking you know it all
12) Encouraging others in their ideas and validating their thoughts
13) Thinking outside the box, going the extra mile for how to best illustrate your concept
14) Learning what you didn't know; becoming smarter in the process
15) And next week, standing before your peers to teach: the highest form of learning
I read your reflections regarding the Inquiry Based Project this weekend. I loved that someone wrote, "This assignment was hard because we were not specifically told what to do."
This person was so right. My not telling you exactly how to do the project was not an accident. It was intentional. I could have said, "Alright everyone create a powerpoint, and you could have been done in less than a day." Instead, I told you, "You have to teach the class your concept, but you get to decide the best way to do it, so long as it is engaging and involves the class in some way."
If I had told you exactly how to do it, it would be my project, not yours. As you move into careers for the future, you will very rarely be told exactly how to do a thing. You were hired, so you could find the best way. You have a unique set of skills that nobody else possesses. When you discover how these assets can be utilized in the workforce, you will find the joy I have found: in doing work that matters and makes you feel good about yourself. There are few joys that can compare to this one.
Keep Stretching Yourself,