Breaking Down

Communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.  As we move through each day, we all tap into our abilities to communicate, collaborate, think critically and be creative. I’m thinking about my morning and reflecting on the use of each skill:

  • Communication: successfully rousing my two children (5 and 8), touching base with friends across the country, and clearly laying out ideas about GAFE in a fifth grade meeting
  • Collaboration: working with a fifth grade editor to complete our news show, planning agenda topics with a colleague, planning use of the mobile devices in our school for a grade level
  • Critical Thinking:  answering all of my son’s questions on the drive into school, writing this post
  • Creativity: figuring out what to wear on this dreary spring day

And this was all with in the first 4 hours of my day.

Do we teach our students all the various was we use the 4C’s in our everyday life?  Our use of the 4C’s permeates our lives.  As we teach students how to be better communicators, ease their collaboration, challenge their critical thinking and magnifying their creativity, are we showing them our use of these skills? Pointing them out? Being transparent about our struggles and shortcomings as we strive to do all these things?  Are we breaking down the skills we want to see in our students?

I want my students to see me as a learner and coach.  I have not evolved to the perfect state as their teacher.  I am learning new things everyday.  Sometimes there are bumps in the road, but they are part of the messy beauty of learning.

Fifth grade students will be arriving to my door shortly.  We are working through some tough planning for the rest of their year with me.  As I attempt to teach them critical thinking and communication skills today, I do not want to be thinking “how am I preparing them for next year?”.  I want to have in the forefront of my thinking, “how am I preparing them for today?”  Time to push the envelope of thinking!

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