edu180atl: pamela jackson 12.2.11
My decision to leave a wonderful charter school in an economically and racially diverse community to relocate to an inner city school in a majority African American high poverty area did not raise a red flag for me. Both were in the same school district, modern facility, shining floors, and friendly faces. I was ecstatic that I finally I had a chance to bring what I had learned and experienced over the past five years back to my own community. I began to pour my resources and knowledge into my new school, as the need arose. Sadly, today, I realized that some people in education are content with status quo, and resistant to change because it requires a new way of thinking.
Back in my classroom, my practice of teaching students to think in an effort to steer them clear of possible subtle cycles of lethargy seemed even more necessary. We have a ritual of spelling the word think. When I say the initial letter T, my students complete the spelling of the word think. As a constant reminder throughout the school day, no matter how many of the initial letters I choose to give them, they automatically respond with the remaining letters. There should be an intentional practice of thinking–whether it is thinking aloud in whole group, in small groups, in pairs, written in blogs, or on paper. It seems to be a critically underutilized skill in public school education. Teaching my students to think about thinking is a vital key to unlocking doors that will allow them to advance to moment after moment of awesome discovery!
About the author: Pamela-Faith Jackson (yvnvplays.org) teaches 1st/2nd grade. Loves to stretch kids beyond their view of themselves; passionate about developing new scripts with young playwrights (grades 3-12).