Engagement in learning is one of the most powerful outcomes of any lesson. Having vision as an educator to meet the needs of each individual learner to engage them every day can be exhausting, but the students reap the benefits. Isn’t that why I got into this profession? It has never been about what I want. My day is not my own, rather it is guided by 23 bright lights and I never know the direction we will go in when I walk into the classroom in the morning. I am sure many of you parents understand this mentality because you give up your life to nurture another, each day focused on someone else’s needs.
I know my students do not benefit from the 19th century schooling model where they sit in rows with the teacher up in front of the classroom. We learn to work in groups, navigate the word of academic choice, and strive to meet new challenges. I was thrilled to be able to bring them to our schools new Innovation Station STEM lab to test it out. Thanks our amazing principal and his vision, students now have a place to go to learn, explore, play, discover, and collaborate. Students chose a station to go attend for an hour. We had students working on coding robots to go the perimeter of a square or rectangle. Another group was challenged to create an animation of a pivotal scene in Pax. I saw students making scenery and characters for when Peter left Pax. A third group was exploring Makey Makey’s, figuring out how to make a controller for their laptop. I saw students work on turning a LED light on, playing a drum, and excitedly beating a video game with the Makey Makey.
Students loved their hour in the Innovation Station and cannot wait to go back. They worked well together and were engaged the entire time. As an educator this is what I live for! Students empowered to learn and challenge themselves! I look forward to using the robots, the 3D doodler, the snap circuits, and other amazing tools we have in our own classroom. The classroom of today sure looks a lot different than when I was in school!