Updated: Dec 2, 2017
Fresh Voyager Faces
Light footsteps, quiet voices, downturned eyes. Meek hands raised, soft whispered answers, words spoken as questions. My newly formed Voyagers class of 4th and 5th grade students started off their year in silence. In my journal I jotted down -
Fear to Share or Shy?
Eager to Create.
Eager to Explore.
Willing to Work and Dig Deep.
We started with daily explorations in the forest walking unfamiliar sections of the creek. We created art from our observations. Journals in hand we recorded the sounds and feelings of our hikes. Slowly, we gained trust - students to student, student to teacher, and student to nature.
The timid shyness stemmed from a desire to be right. I continue to emphasize the value of reasoning - to read to learn - to ask deeper questions - to seek out the why - to rest in the process - to slow down - to focus on the doing instead of being quickly done. They are trusting the process of learning. We are no longer learning to read and figure sums, but now shift to reading to learn and using numbers for reasoning.
As October comes to a close my group of separate individual students has now
formed into a learning team. They share what they are feeling. They think out loud in class. They ask questions. They are becoming brave enough to share their opinion when it is different from the majority. They are seeing a half dozen ways to get to the answer of a math problem. They are witnessing different perspectives after a nature walk. They are hearing the flavors of various poets and writers. And in the differences, they are finding each other.
I look forward to the school year together seeking out the process of learning, challenging them to ask why, and giving the time for them to research it out.