Saturday, March 26, 2011

Class Update 2 - It's About the Learning...

“It’s about the learning, not about the grades.”

That was a statement that was shared with me by one of my students this past week. I was meeting with two girls in my class that had recently finished reading Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass. They scheduled a “meeting” with me to discuss the novel and the various literature standards they had addressed in their reading and discussions.

Theme was our first topic of discussion and the girls freely shared details from the book but were unable to nail down a solid theme. I asked a few guiding questions, but wanted them to come to an answer on their own. This is largely due to the belief I have in students finding answers on their own and also because I had not even read the novel they were discussing…

As the girls were sharing the details of their book and dancing around the idea of a theme, there was a light bulb moment. You could physically see it on the one girl’s face as it hit her. She said, “The author is trying to tell us that life is about the journey, and not about the destination.” It was a proud moment for all of us because it finally clicked and she figured it out on her own. We then proceeded to converse more about the theme of life being a journey with a renewed interest.

Towards the end of our conversation the discussion shifted to a little more personal thread and then into discussions about the learning in our class. In the context of the theme of this novel the two students were able to make connection to what I was trying to do in the class with their learning. Finally, one of them says, “So, it’s about the learning, not about the grades?”

I could have stood up, walked out the room, and died a happy man…
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