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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Teach Us Something

I continue to be frustrated with kids afraid to try something because they're afraid of being wrong or admitting they are confused - you know, the nodders, the silent ones... They hate taking a risk in front of peers like a terrorist hates freedom. I know it's totally normal and human. I'm just frustrated by my "What do you think? What ideas do you have?" being met with "Can you check if it's right first? What if I'm wrong?" I often give a friendly "So what if you're wrong?" and then some crack about how I won't let M.I.A. take them away on a prison bus even though they have red hair.

Does anyone else do something like this in the first few days of school? Get in a group of 2-4 and tomorrow, your group is going to teach the rest of us something that you are good at. It just has to be something that we can do here in school, that we will be able to try a few times within about 10 minutes. If you need any special equipment, you'll need to bring it.

There are plenty of things that these kids like to do that I'm sure I would be comically awful at. And maybe it will show that it's safe to take a risk and/or admit that you're clueless - that it's really sort of essential if you want to learn from another person. But I also wonder if this is a terrible idea, because I want them to feel safe with me, and throwing them in front of the class within the first few days of school will freak them out.

Has anyone tried something like this? Did it work? Was it a waste of time? Was it awesome or horrible in unexpected ways? Please let me know.