The Experience of School

Think back.  Think back to your teachers.  1st grade.  2nd grade.  3rd.  4th.  5th….  Now, think of the greatest lesson plan your teacher(s) ever created. Think about the objectives they wrote on the board.  Think about the assessments (pre and post) they used.  Think about the ice breakers they employed.  Think about how they differentiated their instruction.  Think about….

Wait, stop thinking, because if you are like me, you don’t remember a single lesson plan, a single strategy, a single prompt, or a single objective.  I remember the how I experienced school.  I remember studying monarch butterflies in 2nd grade, show and tell in 3rd grade, two-hand touch football games in the 4th grade, visiting the middle school in 5th grade, the trip the Seacoast Science Center in 6th grade, looking for hawks in 7th grade, the four day camping trip up Mt. Cardigan in 8th grade, studying jellyfish in 10th grade, and dissecting cats and “lawyering” in a mock trial in 12th grade.

The science of teaching is important, but the art – the art of developing and creating learning experiences – is what makes teachers difference makers.  Are you a difference maker?  Are your students experiencing school or simply attending it?  As we continue to grow as learning leaders, it is important for us to remember that all of our objectives, hooks, assessments, and strategies must contribute to the experience of school in order for them to make an impact in the lives of our students.

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