Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Classroom Goal: Learn 10 New Things a Week (about them)

By on August 11, 2013

dolphins I recently checked out a link from a Facebook friend.  It is apparently an ongoing list about current science discoveries called “10 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week.”  It was interesting, but it really got me thinking about a new classroom goal for my school year.

Sure, I expect students to learn new content area material every week.  Sure I expect them to come away with new skills and strategies for communicating in writing and speaking, skills they hopefully also apply to other material and subject matter.  I also talk often about my own constant learning.  But this new goal somehow seems more concrete and measureable.

My goal this year?  To learn 10 New Things About My Students Every Week.  I bet we inadvertently learn even more about our clientele with each day that passes together, but I also bet that with over 200 students a day, we learn more about those who are more willing to share and participate and less about those who are more hesitant or head-to-the-ground focused.

However, new things happen every day.  Tweens experience new things, come to new conclusions, try on new identities, see the world from a different lens…everyday.  Each of them.

So there’s a smorgasbord of new things for us, as teachers, to learn about each of them.  My challenge this year is to not only build a classroom based on academic inquiry, but to also build one in which I inquire more about them…as people in progress.

And in so doing, I’m sure I’ll learn 10 New Things About Myself as well.



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  1. Cheryl Casanova
    August 11, 2013

    I appreciate your suggestion of making this somewhat abstract goal of many teachers (thinking of myself and peers here) concrete as well as doable. It is a challenge I am personally going to happily commit to! What’s life about if not to challenge ourselves academically, and with this goal, relationally.
    Lets share occasionally and keep ourself accountable……….

  2. Lorie Huff
    August 13, 2013

    This idea is simple, yet extremely powerful! Thank you for sharing this idea. I am a math coach and travel between 3 buildings. My goal will be to learn 10 new things each week about the teachers and students at my buildings. I will also encourage the teachers in my buildings to take on this simple challenge!

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