Recently, while attending the Common Core National Conference in Florida, there was a tweet sent out about if teachers get up and leave a bad session and just go to another one, thats ok. Teachers have that freedom but if students fall asleep in class or are disruptive in class they are bad students. There is some irony there.
So the question now is what if schools attitude was that of if we didn't engage the learner they could leave. Potentially, designing the environment so students could leave the classroom, electronically or check other classes and explore other activities.
But even more so think about a mall design, think about the people that go to the mall on a daily or weekly basis? Think about a school being set up like a mall? Teachers are engaging their consumers right from the start. The storefront is important.
Some students today might only spend five minutes, they might window shop if you will but some students might come in and spend two or three hours shopping today because what you're selling today is relevant and engaging to them as a teacher. As I cruise the mall, as a teacher, I'm also seeing, looking and knowing what other teachers are selling so it's easier to collaborate. Today went really well for chemistry so I'm going to stop grab and build off that to attract those consumers this afternoon or this tomorrow.
One of the stronger issues that comes to my mind when we talk about engagement in schools is the power for students to make choice to make authentic choice not just choose between Math class they are taking or when they get their lunch break but make choices on a daily basis so there engaged in understanding where and why and what their education truly is for.
Getting up and leaving a session can be so empowering. Can we reinvent our environment?