As a current preschool teacher I feel that my job currently embraces the idea of hack schooling. I am always looking for fun, hands-on activities that I can use in my classroom that will keep my young learners engaged and learning. I personally feel that providing my students with real life experiences and hands on learning opportunities is a great way for them to learn new skills or build on what they may already know. For me it is important that the learning environment and lessons I plan provide students with concrete examples of the subject matter we are learning about. What better way than to bring in resources and materials that encourages them to use their 5 senses, explore materials and ask questions before, during, and after the lesson. I think that a “Hack Schooling” approach supports differentiated learning for all learning levels in a classroom. It promotes students taking leadership roles in their learning with adult support. Personally, I feel that hack schooling supports a child’s need to learn through observation and investigation. It is important as an educator that I understand that every experience, every word, every manipulative, every book, every piece of music, etc. I expose a child to impacts their understanding of the world and how they can connect to it. Adopting the hack schooling philosophy for me means giving my students opportunities and information to engage them in understanding. I also think that when a teacher can teach visually, auditory, and kinesthetically he/she can motivate the students to learn more about the subject matter being taught.
If I were to define hack schooling from a preschool teachers point of view I would say it is “play experiences in and outside of the classroom” If I am wanting to teach young learners, I have to introduce it in a hands on play experience. If I gather them around and just talk about the subject matter I will lose their attention span in minutes, but if I give my early learners materials and set up a learning experience, I can hold there attention for long periods of time and have the ability to challenge their learning through questions about the material we are using.
Logan was amazing to listen too. I loved hearing how he turned his passions in life into learning experiences that motivate and challenge him. I feel that it is important to listen to students voices in the classroom, finding out what their interests are and how can I create a learning experience that supports their interests. I do feel that students need a voice in their learning. Right now I am not restricted to teaching to standards. Being a preschool teacher I am able to design my classroom with learning experiences that have intentional learning lessons attached to them. It is rewarding to be a supporter to students learning rather than dictate what I want them to know. In my future classroom I defiantly want to implement a hands on approach no matter what grade level I teach. I want to promote student success and happiness in learning. I want to encourage students to participate and never give up and to pursue subjects that interest them.
My struggle lies in discovering how to do this… When I observe classrooms currently I see students sitting for long periods of time, teachers losing students attention, behavior problems etc. I struggle with knowing if I can change what I see happening in classrooms. Can I manage my classroom differently and still see students being successful? Can I teach to the students’ needs for hands on and life experiences, yet also meet the standards required successfully? I am I living in a dream world? I would love to know more about how a public school teacher can implement the “Hack School” philosophy in a classroom?