Genius and courage

This school year has brought so many great things forward in my teaching career. Being standards based and differentiated, I can create a student centered, learning focused environment. My students are figuring out what is truly important – learning over points, scores, and grades. 

One additional concept that is of great significance with my students is the idea of passion. I feel it is so important to bring not only our passions to the classroom as educators, but to honor our students’ passions and encourage pursuit of them. Because of this, I have incorporated genius hour in my classes this year. It has been not only a learning experience for all involved (including me!), but very rewarding as well.

First semester my students focused on learning about a topic of their choice in Spanish. We shared our learning in December with the promise that we would go further second semester. As promised – we raised the bar in January.

This semester my students would need to produce something for an authentic audience. They would have to take their learning outside the classroom and make an impact. As nervous as I was to roll out the next phase of their projects, I soon realized I had nothing to fear.

I have students that are going to use their Spanish at homeless shelters to serve food and visit with the residents. I have students who are going to teach their younger peers dance in Spanish. I have students doing food drives, collecting money for charities, and making video games in Spanish. The list could go on…

My students are amazing people…Courageous geniuses in fact. They want to change the world and leave an impact. I cannot wait to see how these projects continue to progress throughout the semester. I am humbled and awestruck to be helping and guiding them along the way.

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  1. Linda Ashida February 26, 2014 at 2:30 PM - Reply

    You are inspiring me Garnett. I would love to do more “passion” work with my students and more creating for authentic audiences. I would love to see some examples of their work. (You are inspiring me with your blogging, as well, to keep mine going!)

  2. Sra. Spanglish February 25, 2014 at 8:20 PM - Reply

    Holy cow, Garnet! I’m jealous of your “next phase”! I adore the idea of authentic audience + impact! Do you think it’d be doable on a semester block schedule?

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