This week has been a week of connections for me. On Tuesday I participated in #edchat via twitter. I made new connections with new teachers as far away as Canada. After I finished up on #edchat, my students and I went over to the local high school to work with AP history students on a family genealogy project. It was pretty cool to see 26 sixth graders working one on one with sophomores and juniors. On Wednesday I had a skype chat with Shannon Miller, of Van Meter School in Iowa. We discussed how her 5th and 6th grade classrooms could collaborate with the 5th and 6th grade classrooms at Merton.
In education today, connections are essential. The way my students thrive in situations when they get to work with others, not only in the classroom, but outside of it is amazing. When we went to Arrowhead High School on Tuesday, a former student greeted us at the front office. She asked why we are working on a project together, and I said, "Because I want my kids to be able to work with others." She replied, "I wish we would have done that when I was in your class, I stink at working with others and I know I am going to have to do that for the rest of my life." That statement reassured me that these connections we are making are worth it.
This afternoon my students will go over to our primary building to share their Greek Myths they have created with their 5K buddies. When I mentioned to them that they would be doing this, one kid actually fist pumped in the air. Excitement leads to learning.
As a teacher it is my job to continue to provide avenues to connect for my students and myself. We will all get better as a result of learning with others.