Last week, Yoojin and I were talking about new ideas and possibilities to consider for her Passion Project. On the following Monday she came to school and everything we had talked about she had followed up with by taking action. She didn’t do what we were talking about, but our chat inspired other ideas which then lead to more ideas. Clearly, Yoojin had thought deeply about the conversation we had and then put those words into purposeful action.
This then gave me an idea and I saw an opportunity to extend this to every student in the class.
Each student had till Friday to do one thing that they have been talking about doing and never got around to it, or do something that connected to learning throughout the week. The conditions were really simple, they had to prove with evidence of how their words and actions had come together.
Students are really good at talking about ideas and most of the time don’t do anything about it. They often take action only as a result of an adult telling them to do it.
We all had a remarkable week of learning, connecting and accepting responsibility. Every student had something to show and share. Here is a list of some of the things students did as part of their Yoojin Project:
- Two girls arranged to ride to school together;
- Washing up the dishes;
- Playing with their brother or sister;
- Putting more effort and detail into their exposition writing;
- Taking photos of graffiti in the community;
- Spending more time with their mum and talking about their day….. and so on.
Everything that students did was timely. It was always connected to learning, knowledge and skills. Most important of all this experience was developing them as people.
Students saw the value and meaning in what they were doing and why they were doing it. They received feedback about their Yoojin Project by their peers. They felt really positive and good about themselves. This is what successful people do – they are doers.
How much time do you take away from the other ‘stuff’ jammed into your schedule and put it into something that is authentic, purposeful and meaningful naturally? Sometimes we need to teach beyond the curriculum to reach them in other ways.
We all need to carefully listen and observe our students in what they do. We also need to take it one step further and make time to take these opportunities and treat them as priorities in what we teach.
The Yoojin Project is now part of us and what we do. The students know that this term means putting their words into action. Now how special is that for Yoojin!