For me, digital learning day (#dlday) offers the opportunity to assess myself against my students’ unique and idiosyncratic potentials. Given the scope of learning available to us – digitally, materially, in between, and back and forth – am I really helping all of my kids find themselves in their learning? Am I scaffolding authentic work? Am I participating in a democracy in my classroom, or running our community as something else?
We routinely work with choice and negotiation, but I am sometimes boss-like in cajoling kids to do more when I think they are doing less than that of which they are capable.
We use a variety of tools and materials in pursuit of learning, but in some classes I am more prescriptive than others – hoping to strike a convenient hypocrisy in holding a standardized curriculum in one hand and the fierce preciousness of our weird community in the other.
We listen to one another every day, though not always as well as we should, and sometimes I let what I think is happening short circuit my right curiosity about what is happening; sometimes I rush to say or do when I should be slowly listening.
Today is an clear and open invitation for me think about how committed I am in practice and reality to the ideals of teaching and learning I advocate and cherish – is my classroom open? Am I?
I am better than I was. In protecting certain parts of my work, I am too ready to compromise other parts. In articulating here, digitally, what #dlday means to me, I am better able to enact what I want to enact in my classroom tomorrow.
In a journey towards openness by many means, #dlday is less about drawing attention to what we have done than it is to imagining what more we could do – for ourselves and others – with all the connections, openness, and weirdness we are privileged to have.
There is a generation waiting to be born. It cares more for people than even we care for control. It may be that we are teaching its parents or grandparents;
I hope that what we share today reminds them of all we tried to do and inspires them to do more.