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What do you want to be when you grow up....?
I could not have said it any better...I want to be HAPPY when I grow up. I don't think I have ever said that when I was presented with the question of what I want to do when I grow up. I think it was just implied that I will be happy. You do what you want, which will lead to you being happy. But students do not get to do what they want, so by basic logic, they are not happy when they are in class. It is a very rare occasion when a student yells out in glee that we are going to be doing a mind-numbing, drill and kill work sheet so that the students will know how the base-pairing rules work in DNA replication. I like the idea of students, taking education in their own hands, and learning what they want to learn, when they want to learn it. Just does go against how I was taught throughout my education process. I had no control of what I was going to learn, it was dictated to me and I had to show mastery through a multiple choice test. This process is still the norm in most schools today. I hope to be able to at least give the students in my class a choice of how they want to learn specific topics, to give them a little bit of a feeling that their education is more in their hands and in their control, rather than having it dictated to them.
Learn from your failures and take the time to tinker
I envy these students. The only time I got to get out and just build as a student, was when I got some scrap wood from my dad and put together something that probably would end up hurting myself or one of my friends. I can think of all the geometry that I unknowingly learned from botched attempts to create a working mini ramp for my Rollerblades, yeah I said it, Rollerblades.
It is good that these students get to have the joy of creating something, work or not work, in a controlled safe environment. They get the best of all worlds, to tinker, create, see their work come to life, and not have to worry about running your friend to the ER because they broke their arm.