We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.-Aristotle
When was the last time you were an action figure Super Hero? I ask, because I am apparently one today. It is Teacher Appreciation Week and my room mom decorated my classroom door with pictures of my assistant and me dressed as The Incredibles. It was particularly exciting to my kids to see us on the door like that…and I must admit, I’m kind of digging the whole super- ripped, super hero body going on there.
I’m not a Super Hero in real life, nor do I play one on tv, but there are times when we must don our Super Hero apparel and create magic in a classroom full of young children. Engaging students today is no easy feat. There are many things that compete for their attention. Even with iPads, there are times when I look around my classroom and wonder what planet I just landed on because those children are NOT my students!
I find when I am using our creation apps (Explain Everything, Educreations, Pic Collage, Book Creator, iDiary, etc…) my students are far more engaged and tend to become mini-super heroes themselves. Their work is better, the content is deeper, their conversations are richer. These are not mindless apps that keep children occupied like a video game. They start with a blank canvas and end with a brand-new creation that wouldn’t have been possible without the technology. This blank slate-to-masterpiece approach, has transformed our classroom and how we learn. We are working on the habit of excellence.
My kids love to learn and they love to create. Yes, Thomas is under the table working on his masterpiece. He likes it there because he can work undisturbed. Look at his face. Is there any doubt he loves what he is doing?
Happy, engaged children make this Super Hero pretty happy. Creating the habit of excellence starts on day one in your classroom. Examine your classroom and see if you have created a habit of excellence.
What are your super powers?
Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!