What My Students Want

This year, I am lucky enough to be looping with a group of 20 young people for the third year. I saw them enter high school as ninth graders, and now I am watching them breathe into adulthood as juniors.  I am bearing witness to this, and it is nothing less than an honor. It actually takes my breath away.

This year I want to open my classroom to the radical possibilities of having my students claim, own, and control their own learning. I asked them, in Socratic Seminar, what they wanted from their learning this year. I asked them to write a manifestor for this year, and I would follow it as well as I could.

This is what they said:

  1. They want to learn what they want to learn.
  2. They want to learn about the “real world,” and they want to be able to go out into the world to learn it.
  3. They want to have choices about how they learn what they are learning.
  4. They want to choose if they learn alone or with other people.

This not only seems sensible, but it seems to describe how most humans want to learn. I am honoring this.

They are young, they are curious, and they are poised to launch their lives outside of their families of origin. I hope to honor their need for connection, for understanding the whys of our world and their lives, and to make their remaining 360 days in K12 education filled with joy and love.

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