When Anything Is a Choice…Anything Is Possible

I’d waited for the moment, this moment… all summer since the end of last school year. The day I got to introduce blogging and student choice time to my students. I realized early on that this year is not like other school years. This year my students are collectively the most challenging group I have worked with…ever. Each has their own tough exterior, their own history of learning struggles and some have even lost belief of their own awesomeness. Even with all this,  I had deep faith in the power of blogging, student choice, the chance to create and its power to impact students.

So I went for it, like I have many times before. I opened my heart and shared me. I shared my blog, my drawings, what matters to me, what makes me happy, what fills me up and what brings me passion. Then shared the class blog. I shared it’s story, it’s posts, I shared my other students work, stories of their sharing, and my past student’s journeys.

Not a sound was made.

Not a question.

So I asked them what do you love to do? What do you want to share with the world? What do you want to learn how to do? And then came a question.

“Anything?  We can create anything… Anything we want?” one of them asked.

Their eyes of my two oldest students began to light up and they knew exactly what they wanted to create. Working together with them, their main supply list took form, their project to do list was finished and we all understood what the project goal was. I saw smiles and excited eyes. Soon the project was outlined and planned.

They were ready to go.

As the students began to draw their collaborative project they each began working individually on their own part of it. Error after error begin to happen and I waited for what I was sure was going to be the end of it.

Then one of them said to the other, “Let me show you what another teacher taught me.”

Suddenly two students working separately became a collaborative team. That simple act of reaching out, offering help, accepting an idea and teaching another changed everything.  Everything shifted. The conversation began to flow, phrases and skills had never observed or heard these two students use filled the area they were working in. I could only sit and watch and then I began to tear up (what! it was a moment…seriously great moment).  I was instantly reminded as I sat staring, teary eyed and in awww of why this is important.

I was reminded of the power of choice, the power of creativity, the potential of the moment, the power of a chance for students  feel and inspire themselves. The opportunity to  finally feel and finally believe that they are awesome.  All it took was a moment. It took a moment for me to ask them what do you want to? A moment for me to ask them what they wanted to create. A moment for me to ask them what do you want to do. A moment for me to hear them and tell them heck yes you can do it….and in an instant they suddenly were reminded and maybe even began to believe how incredibly amazing they are!

As of today these two students finished their collaborative drawing project. As they sit and write their own post about this project I photoshopped an image of the poster so that it could be printed and laminated for each of them. The hours and hours an hours and hours (almost 7 hours…seriously) of video we recorded of them drawing is being downloaded and waiting to be edited into a hyperlapse video. Most of all, we (myself and my two students) can not wait to share the final video with the world…and I am smiling ear to ear and soaking up the oozing pride they feel in their work (now displayed in the hallway for all to see….their choice). It is simply overwhelming!

..because the opportunity to create anything, design anything, learn about anything means that anything is possible!

. . . . .

Check back here (and on twitter) later this week for the release of their final project and the hyperlapse footage of their entire project!

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