FETC 2012 Thinking About the Un-Comfort Zone

This was my first FETC. I got lucky with the weather, I got lucky with the company I got to keep, I got lucky that my presentations (1 and 2) went well (I think). But most important of all, I got lucky with what I took away from the conference.

I spent much of the conference thinking about students as leaders. I included Chris Lehman and Sylvia Martinez in one of my presentations because of how they empower the students they work with.

I listened to stories form the changes Shannon Miller has made in Van Meter, Iowa. I sat and heard Jason Markey and some other folks from East Leyden High School in Illinois speak about empowering students as leaders. I engaged in some great conversations on Twitter:

Heidi Hayes Jacobs spoke about how we are limited by what we know. Many of us tend to do things that we are used to and comfortable with. But she also said that we have to feel uncomfortable in order to grow. I think one of the great ways to get in that un-comfort zone is to put the learning in the hands of the students.

Heidi talked about the following with regards to what makes a good Web 2.0 site:

  • encourage engagement and curiosity
  • deepens examination of content
  • engenders independence
  • reflects quality in student products/performance

But I am thinking that we can apply these same requirements to how we put our students in leadership roles.

So, think about how you can push yourself to try something new. Perhaps that new thing can be a change in the role of the students in your classroom. Please let me know what you think.