It seems like just yesterday when I would pose the question to my 5th graders, "I don't know, what do you think?" Chances are, I would be using that statement as a buffer for myself. Instead of quickly answering a student question, I would throw it right back to the student...just as I learned working with Commander Reed Steele at the Challenger Learning Center. As the Commander said, "You are making it too easy for them. You aren't in the business of giving answers. Your job is to grow THINKERS, PROBLEM SOLVERS." So, it was definitely a shift in my educational practice. Thank you, Commander!
Now, the statement has a whole new meaning! As much as I prepare for my 8th grade science lessons, as much as I research ahead of time, it is an AWESOME but SCARY feeling when my students ask questions. They may be tired of hearing, "I don't know, what do you think?" I genuinely want to know their ideas and thoughts because it propels me to think outside of my prep and research to learn more myself! The entire process it really cool...as we research and learn together, we are growing together as learners. We are trying to connect to our personal lives, find out "why we need to know this", and grow a bit as learners.
Always learning...I love this terrifying feeling. I love the honesty that comes from admitting to my community of learners...I don't know, but I'm so excited that you thought to ask!