Closer to my goal

I decided to give up a little more control and see if I could get more authenticity.

We began to work through our financial literacy unit and I reserved enough iPads for pairs of students to use for research.  As we discussed education after high school I focused more on helping the students research more about what they think that they would like to do.  They were really focused and took ownership of the assignment which was based on their individual ‘why’.  After researching through interest surveys, job outlook and personality traits of their initial career choices I had a third that decided to change career choices.  The students started off asking a great deal of questions to me instead of learning the answer themselves.  I circulated the room and instead of answering questions the information that they could find by googling we were having great conversation as they voiced their findings.  We discussed whether they should rent an apartment, stay home with their parents or stay on campus if given the choice.  Instead of having twenty-seven students asking me the cost of each living arrangement option for their selected college, junior college, trade school or university they discussed with their paired student after researching on the iPad.  We then put the iPads away and discussed their discoveries.  There were students that never turned in their math homework because they deemed math too hard calculating their cost of education and comparing it to their annual and lifetime salaries.  The conversation continued for days after researching as they were authentically owning the assignment and the fact that they had a choice and a voice.  I even received a few parents messages wondering why their child was so interested in learning about their finances (many parents told their kids that it was none of their business. 🙂  )  They are too young to learn about it or are they?

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Wildly Important Goal

I started by taking baby steps using my growth mindset and investing completely in the COVA model.  Instead of keeping my iPads locked up in fear I started with a rotation to allow students to sign up to use the iPads.  I made sure to clear each one before I turned it over to the student and I allowed them to choose whether or not they wanted to use the iPad when their name came up on the list.  To my surprise, there were a fourth of my students that just wanted to read their chapter book during advisory instead.  For the students that chose to use the iPads we discussed appropriate websites and uses for the technology when they checked it out.

As the iPads were returned I checked the opened windows and browser history and I noticed something very different than my fears.  Many students chose to work on the Think Through Math website in order to get through more lessons and contribute their points to the class goal of a party.  I posted stats and each of my periods were in competition so many students wanted to beat the other classes even if their own class wasn’t close to winning the website administered contest party prize.  Fear was slowly fading and I began to release more of my control.