Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Learners Need Time

Last night our family went for a walk. At every water drain in our neighborhood, Reagan, my two-year-old, slowed down as she walked past. She stared at it. It was something she was unfamiliar with and trying to figure out what it was forced her to slow down. Waaaay down. Her lips moved as she began thinking aloud. And that happened at every drain we passed.

I am currently reading Super Freakonomics. It includes many statistics so I turn the pages very slowly to give myself time to take it all in. When a passage confuses me, I reread it more slowly than the first time. I often look up and think for several minutes before continuing to the next paragraph or chapter.

I will never forget my second year of teaching. It was the first week of school and I was holding a class meeting on what we would need to grow as learners. I asked the question, "What do you need from this me this year to help you grow? What do you need from each other?" After a few responses, a very timid, thoughtful child with big brown eyes looked up and said, "I need time."

Learners need time! Time to process. Time to question. Time to respond. Time to hypothesize. Time to talk. Time to read. Time to think.

Learners do not need to be rushed from place to place, center to center, project to project, or task to task. They need time to soak in, camp on, reflect on, (whatever you want to call it) all they are learning.

So whether we are teachers with a room full of students, moms raising little ones, managers leading salesmen, or coaches working with athletes, we owe it to the learners in our care to give them time.

This is one of my absolute favorite quotes concerning the importance of time as it relates to literacy:

“Time spent doing what’s essential for literacy allows students to relate to the curriculum in a meaningful way. Without time to experience what it feels like to be a reader and a writer, a strong connection between students and literacy just won’t happen. We demonstrate what we value in our classrooms by giving it attention and time. A child’s relationship to literacy deserves both.”

- From More than Meets the Eye by Donna Skolnick

1 comment:

  1. The way you write, WOW. You take things and put them in the most amazing perspecive. I love the way you make words flow together effortlessly, unless of course you sit at your computer all day just to strain out one blog...in that case I love your dedication!