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Makers Gonna Make, Make, Make….Teachers Get A Break, Break, Break…

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan 15, 2018)
makerIt’s no secret that the #MakerMovement has taken U.S. K-12 by storm. I think that more than any other ‘trend’ in my 12 years in education, embracing what it is to be a #Maker has had the most profound impact on culture, but not just for students…for TEACHERS!


Here are MY 3 reasons why #MakerEd will save teaching.




#3 - Permission to make a mess and not clean it up is LIBERATING!

I can’t even begin to tell you how many of my afternoons have been lost to the deadly ‘I’ll just pick up a bit before I leave’ curse. The expectation that classrooms should look pristine and Pinterest-ready every morning is just too much pressure, and its such a time-suck. Instead, honoring the fact that when the bell rings doesn’t impact when kids are done with what they are working on, gives teachers the appropriate permission to skip the Clorox Wipe and recycling bin barrage at the end of the day…giving them back some of the TIME they are in such desperate need of.

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(Disclaimer: This doesn’t mean that you allow your classroom to turn into the Fraggle Rock trash heap…I mean, REALLY?!)


#2 - There is no better way to empathize with students than to struggle alongside them.

 
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Design Thinking (see Stanford D-School) is all the rage right now in education, and rightfully so. It allows teachers and administrators take a good, hard look at what’s working for kids, and an even harder look at what isn’t. Finding a true problem of practice is impossible unless you can isolate ways in which your students struggle. Often our perceptions of what kids have difficulty with are debunked when we dig into the learning trenches with them. I felt more needed and valuable as a teacher in the moments when I struggled and persevered WITH my students. Those moments made me a better teacher, and a better human.

#1 - Making means stepping out of your comfort zone…and that is FUN!

After starting down the yellow brick road of making, I have seen the return on the cultural investment in many ways. Kids are able to problem solve, honor the hard work of others, recognize their learning as a process, and ENJOY school.

SPOILER ALERTTeachers experience the same happy side effects.

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In the last 6 months, I have tried more, had more fun, worked harder, and honored the process more than the product. I have become a #maker, and I would NEVER DREAM OF GOING BACK!

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Stephanee Stephens
Director
iTeach at Kennesaw State University

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