While I was on my mission the students I was able to spend time with were taking in the experience for completely different reasons. Here is a sample of some of the exchanges:
Kindergarten – students were taking a body break and dancing energetically.
Me: “Hey guys, do you like body breaks? How do you think they help you learn?”
Student 1: “Hey Mr. Fero, check out my dance moves. Why don’t you dance with us?”
Student 2: “Nice dance moves Mr. Fero”
Grade One – students were reading during a morning literacy period.
Me: “Hi, what books are you reading? How did you choose those books?”
Student: “Mr. Fero, can you read with me?”
Grade Six – students were in the hallway testing gliders.
Me: “So, you guys testing your gliders? What are you noticing?”
Student: “Mr. Fero, I can’t figure out how to make mine fly straight. Do you think I can make it work if I fix the elevator?”
So what did I find out? I learned that all of my students were very much engaged in what their particular learning activity was, but moreover, I learned that my students just really wanted to opportunity to engage with me. In those moments MY mission was less important than THEIR mission. Mine was to find data, and theirs was to hang with the principal. Student mission accomplished.
Ian Fero loves his job. He is the principal at Fish Creek School and has some pretty solid dance moves. When off the dance floor you can find him through Twitter (@principalfero) or his blog (www.principalfero.weebly.com)