When did we stop having fun in the classroom?
Why do we need to over school things or make it all about academics?
I am dreading what will happen to things like breakout and minecraft over the next twelve months.
I fear that we will kill the wonder in the eclipse and make it a worksheet-like experience.
Is it the tests that kill the fun? Are we too worried about what others will think so we make sure it is tightly bound to the standards or what we think are the standards?
Some days I just hit a wall and get sad about the loss of joy.
8 thoughts on “Are we too academic?”
It's absolutely essential that we figure out how to bring the fun back to learning! For all of our sakes. I heard a speaker ask recently: is your classroom such that your students can't wait to come or do they have to be made to? There are still things within our control. Well said!
My college students and my pre-service teachers look at me like I've lost my mind when I talk about joy and education, but surely that's why most of us got into this work: because we find joy in reading, writing, literacy, learning, because we find joy in kids, because we find joy in relationships. I wish all teachers would ask themselves your questions here. Classrooms should be places of fun and joy!
Joy was IS my word for this school year. I am determined to keep the joy front and center for my little ones, and myself this year. Thanks for the post and remember, walls are put up for us to jump over!
Accountability, accountability, accountability. Unfortunately, we are held accountable for the wrong things sometimes.
I was just thinking about this tonight and decided to ditch our weekly reading assessment on Friday and do a Slice of Life museum with my students.
Your post completely connects with my today. I am feeling the pull as well. Such high expectations for the students and educators. Finding a balance is so difficult.
It's interesting, I'm less worried about this than I used to be. I've seen so many good things in our classrooms over the past few years–Genius Hour, choice play time–that I'm optimistic. When I think about going back to a classroom this fall, all I can focus on is the fun and the joy that I can't wait to share with kids. This time of year is rough as tests approach, but I'm hopeful that we can keep joy in our classrooms, at least one teacher/room at a time. You can count on at least one classroom in the fall who won't be making the eclipse into a worksheet production. 🙂
In a strange twist that I don't quite trust (given my political leanings), I saw that GOP-led Congress has loosened the regulations around testing and accountability in the new fed education law, which should mean less pressure on states, and thus, less pressure rolling downhill to classroom teachers for tracking standardized testing scores and being punished for ones that don't rise. (See: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/09/us/every-student-succeeds-act-essa-congress.html?_r=0)