Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm.- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I love my job. Most days. I work in a great school and have great kids and great parents. Don’t get me wrong, there are days I could put a knot on every head. (The kids that is, not the parents. Maybe. ) The best part about teaching kindergarten is the never-ending enthusiasm of my students, as witnessed by this recent exclamation: “Whoa! There’s a new app in the ABC folder! I can’t wait to play it! Oh man! This is so awesome! I could do this every day it’s so awesome! I can’t handle all the awesomeness!” I’m not sure, but I think he liked it. One of my students missed a day of school recently and during his absence, I added a new app. I forgot to tell him about it but as soon as he opened his iPad and opened the ABC folder (I categorize my apps into folders), he immediately saw the new app. What’s amazing to me is that there are 20 apps in that folder and he knew instantly there was a change. Observant and enthusiastic!
When was the last time you were so excited at school that you couldn’t handle the awesomeness? As I’m typing this, I’m trying to think of the last time I was so excited about anything that I couldn’t handle the awesomeness…and I’m still thinking…anyway, the app that created the excitement is Starfall Learn to Read. At last, all the content from Starfall.com’s Learn to Read index in an app!
I’m still pondering the unabashed love of learning. Children innately love learning. They are curious and want to find out the what, where, how, and why of everything around them. Where does that curiosity and enthusiasm go? Are we drilling and testing it out of them? Are we using best practices and showing our own enthusiasm as an adult learner? I mean, if a $2.99 app generates more awesomeness than a child can handle and he enthusiastically exclaims he could play the app every day, it’s a worthy question. Obviously, we can’t play apps all day long, just as we can’t sit at a desk and do worksheets all day either. iPads are definitely a game changer. My kids think they are, well… awesome and I think they are pretty awesome my very own self. I want them to be excited about learning and I don’t want them to lose that enthusiasm. By examining ourselves as educators and taking a long hard look at what we are teaching, hopefully we can take a cue from my young student and channel our own inner awesome!
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