Two weeks ago I got to meet my new son, Amos. It was a magical experience as a first time father. And the more I get to know him, the more amazing it gets. But what really surprised me about Amos is just how passionate he seems to be about improving educational outcomes by getting students to do more of the thinking and talking in classrooms. Seriously. He’s a real student engagement fanatic!
From the moment he was born, it was all, “talk ratio” this and “open-ended questions” that. Last week, I said to him: “Who loves you so much? I do!” and he started bawling because (a) I forgot to use wait time, and (b) I answered my own question. Rookie moves. Then yesterday I was reading him Goodnight, Moon and he just fell asleep — clearly bored by my excessive talking. Why didn’t I think to give him a chance to contribute??
But, I must say, I’m proud of my son and the example he’s setting for all of us. We need to engage in conversation with our kids! How else will we get to know them? Learning (and loving) is about dialogue, an exchange of ideas…even simple ideas like a look or a smile. Amos is reminding me of that.
So I hope we can all take a cue from this precocious newborn and remember to put engagement with our fellow human beings at the center of our lives…and as educators to put student engagement at the center of our work. Our mission at TeachFX is to help you do just that. Drop me a line if you want to talk about it more. 🙂