When you walk onto a middle school campus and even into the rooms themselves, it can look like chaos. After all, middle schoolers are wired to be active and wired to be loud. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t learning going on, and it doesn’t mean that there isn’t an invisible structure in place that, like a whalebone corset, supports the core.
There is so much that happens that is never seen on the surface but that is active, like the Gulf Stream, propelling the learning forward.
For instance, here is a photo of my classroom:
It was crazy that day. Had someone walked in, I’m sure that craziness would have been misunderstood. But here’s what people don’t see that’s residing just underneath the surface of the observable classroom:
It’s loud in a room that’s operating with so many moving parts.
It’s loud in a room that’s differentiating in such a complicated way.
It’s loud in a room where students are teaching each other.
It’s loud in a room that’s functioning at the energy level of its clientele rather than the energy level of its teacher.
Learning should be loud. It should be messy. It should be exciting.
But that doesn’t mean it’s recognizable.
So here’s my challenge to you, my reader: Go to my Facebook page and post your own picture with your own explanation of #whatpeopledontsee. I want to see pictures from other people’s classrooms, and have educators share what those inner structures are. What is happening that the casual observer wouldn’t recognize?
Please share over at my Facebook page (it’s just in its infancy, so please feel free to like and share!)