I just finished reading Ewan McIntosh’s blog “Personal projects are often worth more than professional ones. What’s stopping you?”.
The post describes how our personal projects outside of work can be the ones we value most.
“It’s all too easy to relegate our personal projects to the bottom of the pile until “the day job” is complete. The result? We nearly always end up having to leave creative, fun, new projects behind in the interest of ticking someone else’s boxes, when those same personal projects could be the very innovation that make the difference.”
The post started me thinking about my personal projects and the satisfaction that I gain from them. For me the most satisfying projects are the ones I design that support the curriculum but also reflect who we are as people. The projects that I work on with my students are ones that have me interested and support my learning about the world. I like projects where there is a learning curve for myself and my students that challenges us to think in new ways.
Occasionally, these types of projects can be frustrating because the students’ learning curve isn’t as fast as mine or what seems obvious to me isn’t obvious to them. Sometimes I also forget that this year I’m teaching grade 5&6 and not 6&7. Believe me, there is a difference. My grade fives are not as independent as grade sevens and certainly aren’t as good problem solvers. I’m sure that by the time the school year is over there will be many changes in how they learn.
The projects I work on with my students are what makes my job interesting but the best part is when the students make the projects their own. Once the students take ownership of a project it takes on a new course and begins to reflect who each student is as a learner.
The blog post ends with a this great question “What’s your personal project, and what’s stopping you just getting on with it?”
So…what’s stopping you?