Friday, May 14, 2021

Curious and Empowered > Engagement

Engagement is one thing, but to be curious and empowered is what I've been striving to nurture and provide for my students the past few years. It's been a journey of more questions than answers, yet I know I'm moving in the right direction, much aided by the support of The Idaho Coaching Network. This post is a short and sweet depiction of my journey.

My narrative begins with the following essential question:

How can I empower my students by creating more opportunities for inquiry, curiosity, and research? 

I don't mean to give engagement a bad rap. Engagement can be a good thing but it doesn't necessarily put students in the driver's seat. It simply increases the chances that they'll willingly get on the bus. My quest is to move them towards the front of the bus as much as possible. 

My essential question led me to the following books.

These books led me to the following inquiry projects.

Although reading books and jumping into some projects was the right and best place to start, they still left me with numerous questions. 

What does inquiry look like on a daily basis? 
How does it look different at the beginning of the year as opposed to the end?
How do I scaffold the research process with young students who can't easily access texts or resources?
How do I honor inquiry and curiosity and still teach required curriculum? 
How do I find comfortable and manageable routines, while at the same time, keeping it fresh?

It's a good thing there is no expiration date on finding answers. Next year I plan to continue iterating, building on all that I tried this year. Even though my questions outnumber answers, I will take David Wolfe's advice when he says, "Until further notice, celebrate everything."

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