Friday, August 9, 2013

The Uncommons

Ideas come together when you make connections. To make connections, you need stimulus. Here's how it worked for me this time: I read Dave Burgess's brilliant book, Teach Like a Pirate. I was struck by this quote:
Provide an uncommon experience for your students and they will reward you with an uncommon effort and attitude.
Then I skimmed a link someone posted on Twitter (I forget who, otherwise I'd credit) unrelated to education. It was about business, actually, and the gist of it was for businesses to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes them different.

Then I read this brilliant list called 101 Teaching Tips, Secrets, and Ideas for 2013 from TeachThought, and clicked on a link in it to The Importance of Branding Your Classroom.

That's when this happened:
Photo credit.

These three pieces of inspiration were unconnected, yet my brain was able to take them and use them as inspiration for a good idea.

Here it is:

My classroom will not be called "Ms. Quinn's classroom" or "Room 7-134." It will be called,

The Uncommons will be a place where uncommonness is valued, where being different is not only accepted but celebrated. We will celebrate how each of us is different and encourage it with the motto "Be Uncommon," and we will look at how important figures in history have been uncommon. I have been trying to come up with some great ideas on how to make pre- and post-Confederation Canadian history intriguing, relevant, and fun for 11 year olds. And I think this lens of "the uncommon" might work. Who stand out as Canada's Uncommon?

Not only this, but the experience they will have in my classroom will be like anything they've ever experienced in school before. I will be fun, creative, and engaging. They will love to be there. This is not your common desks in rows kind of classroom.

I want to get that banner printed on foam core and posted above my classroom door so each student will be reminded of our mission every time they enter the room.