May the forth be with you fellow tribe members of the #IBrebelalliance.
I’m excited by the prospect of sharing my first post with you on such a fun and quirky pun of a date. During the Singapore IB Global Conference whenever #IBrebelalliance was mentioned, in my mind’s eye I geeked out and envisioned myself in the classroom donning a Jedi Master cloak (hehe). Hence, the motivation for holding off until this day to post. Since the conference, and even though I haven’t robed up, I have endeavoured to keep the momentum and excitement from the conference thriving alive.
My first day in the classroom after the conference occurred after a two and a bit week holiday hiatus. I was bursting to see my year two cherubs and get to work bringing to fruition my commitment to amplify learner agency. As soon as we were reacquainted, I got straight into it by asking the children ‘why’ we do some of the things we do. It wasn’t until I asked them ‘why do we have to eat brainfood at 9.30am each morning’ that I got them thinking. ‘Why’ indeed? This curious questioning opened up the flood gates to some very exciting new path ways that live and ooze agency.
Our current ‘Where we are in place and time’ unit of inquiry has taken a turn that I could have never anticipated. Our cherubs were very keen to decorate the classroom with learning examples of their own choice and to put these artefacts up themselves rather than watch their teachers do it or simply walk in the next day to see new displays on the wall without any input from them. The parameter that we set for this request was that it must be in context of our classroom inquiries. Thus, our World Expo was born. The students quickly set about deciding which countries they wanted to showcase and they created a success criteria checklist to ensure groups would work equally to present appropriate information. The essentials of the checklist were set with the central idea driving their thinking.
A few days ago my team-teaching partner who was not present at the conference but who is revelling in the new directions our classroom is taking stood in the middle of the above happenings. As she drank in the vibrant atmosphere of the classroom she happily remarked ‘Oh my goodness – they are buzzing’.
I am looking forward to seeing what the classroom will look like and what future learning adventures await us. By simply asking one little question ‘WHY?’ learner agency and challenging the status quo is being fostered and has thrust us at light-speed into an ‘enhanced inquiry’ pedagogy. Oh, and the members of this rebel tribe no longer eat their brainfood at 9.30am but whenever they feel hungry!