By Lower Elementary Teacher Amy Fujimoto
I love how the creative process I experience as a teacher is also transferring somewhat organically in this new remote teaching experience. I find I am responding to what I observe through the interactions in the student videos and our regular meetings. David Bohm, scientist and author of the book “On Dialogue” said, “The ability to perceive or think differently is more important than the knowledge gained.” This seems timely, as how I share knowledge and my flexibility are being challenged. I am creating differently with the new constraints and likewise, many students are making their own materials based on the pictures, lessons, or memories of materials.
Families and children are creating creative work spaces and charts to help them track their work. As I see progress in these new ways, I respond with the next step or lesson. Just like in the classroom I would never say, “Okay, you’re finished with everything for fractions in the Lower Elementary curriculum,” I research, look into the next math lessons, and guide the student in their learning. That seems to transfer in the physical classroom or remotely. Learning is ongoing and forever. If I am encouraging lifelong learners it seems that can happen anywhere.
Asking questions, finding links in curiosity and interest is how I connect and inspire more learning. One student and I love to talk about food. She has made great restaurant recommendations to me! I recently assigned a reading assignment about bread around the world to her. As I shared this with the student over a Zoom meeting her eyes widened and she made a gasp of excitement. That moment where the curiosity and curriculum merge, are magical. I am grateful that I have an opportunity to encourage this wherever our “classroom” is.