Thursday, April 6, 2017

It's Okay to Burn the Brownies


Learning really is about burning the brownies. It's about being short on ingredients and problem-solving. It's about realizing that maybe your problem solving didn't work, and that's okay. Ultimately, when those brownies don't come out the way you hoped, it's about putting on that apron and trying again...

For the last several months, my thirteen-year-old daughter has been watching cooking shows -- Chopped Junior, Cupcake Wars, Master Chef Junior...bascially anything involving cooking. She's even been practicing her British accent in case she's ever selected to go on an international cooking show. Clearly, she's begun to develop a very strong interest in the culinary arts. However, it wasn't until yesterday that she actually picked up the "apron" and put it on.

As I was sitting at my son's baseball game, my daughter and I shared a series of texts:

This conversation speaks volumes about learning. It's become a bit cliche, "FAIL" - "we need to let kids fail", and the list goes on. But it's true. The part we are missing from education really is that First Attempt In Learning. Kids need to be willing to take risks, not be afraid of failing and to try new things - - things that they are genuinely interested in.

 I've attempted this own kind of learning in my classroom - my students have been working on "Genius Hour" or passion-based projects (check out Joy Kirr's livebinder for more info) over the course of the year and cannot wait to see what my students' final work looks like. Will they all have amazing projects and presentations? Probably not...but they all have had the opportunity the successes and the failures, and have gone through the process of putting on that "apron".

By the way, here's the last few messages of our conversation. Next time I'll be sure to have eggs.