We are in our fourth week of school and wrapping up a unit on Who We Are focusing on “Appreciating diversity helps us to understand ourselves and others”. We have done work on identities and community and decided a great end would be for students to identify a strength they have and teach others about it. The strengths the students identified varied, from paper folding to game playing to sports skills, and much more. Each student had the choice to work alone or with a partner. They then created a “business card” advertising their skill and contact details, then they justified how they knew it was a strength, how they acquired the skill, and why someone else might want to learn/use this skill.
Yesterday they picked their teaching day and made their teaching plan. Today they signed up for what workshops they wanted to attend. The first teachers taught this afternoon. Solo teachers had 2-4 students and co-teachers had 3-8. The teachers were detailed and specific and had models and specific steps for success. The students were attentive and had a go at the skills being taught. Over the course of the four different time slots the next few days there are more than 40 workshops offered, yet fifth graders only teach one 15-minute lesson and attend three others.
You may have “Teachers Teaching Teachers” sessions as a regular part of your professional development. I can assure you that everyone came away from the first day sessions with an appreciation for their peers today. In a reflection at the end, they readily identified what their peer teachers had done to make their lessons successful. I can hardly wait for tomorrow.