Freedom question (again)

We’re in the descent towards the end of second quarter. There’s not a lot of traditional teaching I can do right now — we’ve done what’s necessary for them to do their projects, both CSpan and the individual piece — so it’s up to them to finish stuff. I’m coaching, cheerleading, and troubleshooting. I’m grading and I’m conferencing. I’m trying to be fair about who is playing too much and who is playing in a way that disrupts everybody else.

And I’m trying not to overreact when the teenagers start saying stuff because it’s hard to finish stuff. The blame cannons are in constant use: it’s Clapper’s fault, it’s ___
‘s fault, it’s the camera’s fault, it’s so-and-so’s fault.

So I wanted to start the day by asking about the freedom and flexibility they’ve earned.

“How are you taking advantage of the freedom offered at the Workshop School?”
“What do you struggle with most?”

Here’s what I wrote:
“There is a portion of students who are structuring their own time and finding ways to move projects along. They are using teachers and each other as resources to get things done. They see the time as an opportunity to set things up their own way to learn how they learn best. They understand their role in creating their wok and in making the community. They use as much of the time as possible.”

Struggles:
“When people get stuck, i.e., when they don’t know what to do. Do they go invisible or do they cause disruptions ?”
“When people disengage…”
“As a teacher, making sure that I’ve helped kids develop the tools necessary to handle freedom.”
“How much the model is built on kids making their own choices and I’m not always to overcome it when they don’t want to make decisions.”

The conversation focused on three areas:
comfortable: how does freedom help you stay comfortable?
choice: how does having a choice help move your work along?
changes: the school/the class can change to meet different needs.

Meaning:
“My best work usually comes from daily work at home or when it’s quiet enough in school so that I can get deep into my thoughts.” DW

Struggles:
“But what if there’s too much freedom and I get lost?” DC
“Focusing on things when I don’t understand; being interested especially when it’s boring.”
“I sometimes struggle to stay motivated/energzied when doing work that doesn’t immediately interest me. I think this is a byproduct of getting to do interesting work regularly — everything else is more boring.”
“One way I struggle with this freedom is that sometimes I lose track or get sidetracked since it’s my project and I’m not following a structure, I have to create a structure.

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