Over the next month, this blog will feature excerpts and guest posts surrounding my latest book, Leading Connected Classrooms- The Heart and Soul of Teaching and Learning. This book is designed for teachers, teacher leaders, and building leaders who are looking to bring excellence to the learning in their schools.
Growth through choice comes in many flavors. One piece comes from learning how to choose. Students are going to make mistakes, and they are going to make bad choices. Often, these poor choices come from a lack of practice and reflection on how to make choices as opposed to a willful desire to negatively impact others with the choices. Allowing failure in choice in schools creates a safer place to fail along with space to reflect and improve. Through this iterative process, students grow as choosers. They begin to build a set of tools and decision-making protocols, whether formal or informal, that allow them to take more actions by design.
There is fresh learning and growth that comes with choice. When students have a chance to choose how they want to showcase their learning, they build capacity around owning their decisions and bringing their ideas from infancy to completion. Students with choice also learn that it can change in the middle of a situation because of resource, human, or emotional needs. They begin to see that choice isn’t the end of the decision-making process, but the beginning. Once choice is a part of the DNA of a classroom, it breeds more choices. The students are learning both the freedom of choice and the balance of choice in a safe, reflective environment.