Stop And Smell The Roses

smelling the roses

CC licensed photo shared by Flickr User Lorzis Photos

On Wednesday I got to meet Joanne Babalis.  She was speaking at a PD session that my board was hosting about the Third Teacher and creating learning spaces that match inquiry-based learning.

A lot of what she spoke about is written in her blog.  I loved hearing her speak because she was so real.  She spent a lot of time talking about the importance of active listening in her teaching.  She talked about taking her students out for walks and vibing off of their questions during those walks.  It seems like she really tries to match curriculum to students’ interests.

The next day my class took a walk to the park for some end of year bonding.  As we walked, I tried to follow Joanne’s example.  I listened to the kids… and it was beautiful.  We stopped quite a few times to (literally) smell the roses and talk about the different plants that were growing in people’s flower beds.  Their questions were amazing.  We weren’t chitchating, we were really discussing as we walked.  The walk took twice as long as it should have, but the journey was fascinating.

I work in a very urban setting.  We don’t have a lot of nature to interact with.  Having an outdoor learning program, is not really in the cards for us.  However, working in the  centre of a big, diverse, interesting city has its benefits too.  Walking through it and stopping to ask questions can make for really authentic and relevant learning.  I think I need to make more time for that.

I’m not really sure how I’m going to use this “aha”, but it is something that I’m going to sit with during the summer. 

Any ideas?

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