Teacher, Sanford Middle School
When a student can step outside of the classroom and experience something in a different way, it gets them engaged, and that’s the key.
Often in school, students are moving between seven different classes in a given day where they sit down and listen to a teacher talk. Then they do a little bit of independent work but it’s a rare occurrence that students sit in groups and work collaboratively using real world applications of classroom learning. When a student can step outside of the classroom and experience something in a different way, it gets them engaged, and that’s the key. Moreover, it helps students that normally don’t thrive in traditional environments to have an opportunity to discover another way of learning.
We talk about this at our school all the time: how do we get kids to do more life-meaningful work in a history class or in a geography class, or – like I tease the math teachers – in the boring math classes? How do we create more experiences that connect the dots for our kids? We have to constantly keep thinking and challenging ourselves.