Sometimes I hear students or teachers say “today we have to…” fill in the blank with whatever the activity is. Wouldn’t it be so much more powerful to say the words “get to” instead of “have to?”
As a teacher we should be designing learning experiences that our students “get to” do rather than those that they “have to” do.
Here’s two activities. Which would you rather work on?
Students: today you get to explore our world through local, regional, and national news sources. You get to choose a current event article to read, thinking about, and share with the class how it impacted you.
Students: today you have to complete a current event article. Remember it has to be on a a local, regional, or national news story. When you’ve picked out the article you must then read about it, think about it, and then you have to share it with the class.
Our students are lucky to be able to go to school to have the opportunity to participate in all the rich learning experiences we design for them. They should know that these are opportunities for them.