Sunday, March 2, 2014

#FF Fan the Flame for Learning

Every Sunday I kick start my week with #sunchat (8am CST) and every Friday I wrap up the week with #FF (Follow Friday). I love Friday morning, because my awesome PLN gives uplifting shout outs to one another via #FF.

In my educational PLN, #FF is more than the advertising of followers, it is a time to fan the flames of those who lead as well as those seeking to learn. We share with and follow one another in order for all of us to better meet the needs of our students.

William B. Yeats said, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."

This begs me to ask the question...whose job is it to light the fire? The teacher or the student? The educational leader or the educator? I can't help but think that in our fast paced changing world it is vital each individual learns how to light his or her own flame.

From striking flint and steel to rubbing sticks together, to match lighting dry kindling versus kindling soaked in gasoline, not all learners require the same tools to start their own fires. Educators must carefully provide each student the necessary fire starting materials dependent upon his or her own level of readiness.  We must then allow students time to work with the materials in order for them to make a spark and more time for that spark to become a flame.

Imagine a class of 30 students with each student lighting his/her own flame. Now imagine fanning those flames and watch as 30 individual fires flare out to catch fire with one another!

Don't let #FF simply be about following others! Instead let it be about fanning our flames in order to connect our fires for one large bonfire to be seen by all! 21st Century learning no longer allows us to sit fireside staring into the flames, but requires us to be the fire in order to light way.