I was lucky enough today to join one of my classes on their fungi hunt in the nature place behind our school. This is energetic and occasionally chaotic class (my favorite kind) and they were particularly excited about discovering fungi hidden among the logs, leaves, and trees.
I had to admire how the teacher let them run free among the leaves. Although they were loud and possibly interrupting the classes learning inside the school, I appreciated that she allowed them to be the six year olds they truly are. The excitement for nature wasn't quashed with "walk quietly and whisper about fungi". Who wants to whisper about fungus? Instead there were screams of excitement for fungi spottings while feet crunched through the leaves to find the place where the fungi was hidden.
As a classroom teacher I made the mistake of always worrying about what my classroom looked like from an outsider's perspective. I wondered about who was judging my noisy learners and tried to keep a lid on it. Even when I knew learning was still happening amongst the noise and mess, I still glanced over my shoulder wondering what might be said about me in the teacher lounge.
If and when I go back to the classroom I want to keep these thoughts in mind.
Ah, Fungi. *sigh*
Letting kids spontaneously talk about their discoveries stretches their learning from their point of view. How many times do we stretch ours by listening to another perspective? With 6 year olds it's just at a higher decibel and with movement. This is how they make sense of the world. Terrifying and wonderful at its best:)
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