Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Friday, September 2, 2011

Encouraging Student Inquiry on Day One

One of my classmates at Harvard, who teaches art at a charter school near Boston, recently engaged her middle school art students with the following amazing lesson. What a terrific way to encourage student-centered learning and critical inquiry on day 1!

(The assignment was simple.  On the first day of class I asked my 150 students to write down the first 20 questions that come to mind.  I said I though curiosity was vital for success and then asked what they were wondering about.  The results are consolidated because there was a lot of repetition.  I distributed these back to the kids sans names and we had a great time making art and understanding where our community is wondering around.  I find them to be introspective, wholesome, contemporary, edgy, silly, deeply serious, universal and incredibly personal all at once.  I hope in addition to inspiring them to follow their own curiosities I have planted a seed of acceptance and community.  Enjoy!)

Why can’t we understand dogs?
What is it like in high school?
Are wizards real?
Will 2012 really happen?
When will I get a dog?
Why is the sun yellow?
How do I become a successful rapper?
How come the sky is the limit?
Is there going to be a homecoming dance?
Why am I so lame?
Why do we fight?
Who invented words?
What was the first bellyflop like?
Why do birds fly?
Is there a Hogwarts?
Why do we rotate?
Why are some smarter than others?
How do octopi change colors?
Why does the sun go away at night?
Why do we get older each year?
Why do we have to have school?
Why is the earth round?
Why do we have different classes?
Why is red my favorite color?
Are the undead real?
Who created numbers?
Why are cars called cars?
Who is going to be in my next class?
What is this school year going to be like?
Am I going to have the same friends?
What job am I going to have when I get older?
Why is twilight so popular?
Is Kunsmiller going to have a college?
What will math be like?
Why am I so tall?
Why is gas so expensive
Am I a beast?
Why am I here?
What is the point of life?
Where will I go when I die?
Do we even really exist?
Are there alternative universe?
Why do girls have to have the babies?
Why does my pencil have grey lead?
Why are variables important?
Why do water bottles have plastic?
Will I ever be a WNBA Allstar?
Why does space have no air?
Will the earth ever stay still?
Why is it illegal to not go to school?
Why does the sun shine?
How do bones help you move?
Why am I awesome?
Why do people hate me?
Will I be rich?
What is matter composed of?
Why do people like cartoons?
How is Kunsmiller going to benefit me?
Was my dad ever bullied?
How many things are invented every year?
Is it true that you learn something new every day?
Why can’t we grow wings?
How old is Ms. Dornbush?
When will the world end?
How many comic books are made each year?
When did comics start being made?
Why is the sky blue?
Why are we here?
Were dragons real?
Who created numbers?
Why is my eraser white?
Why did we need crayons?
Why do we need air?
Why is this an art school?
Is 2012 going to happen?
Where did water come from?
Why are we all here?
Is bigfoot real?
Will I be very successful in life?
When will I stop modeling?
When will I stop dirt biking?
How old will I be when I die?
Will I ever change school?
When will I have kids?
When will I finish school?
Will there be flying cars in the future?
Will water ever flood the earth’s land?
Will aliens attack the United States?
Why is water what we drink?
Why did Eve eat the apple?
Will I achieve the drea?
Can I become successful?
Why did my mom choose my dad?
What is the hardest question in the world?
Are aliens real?
What is my next best friend going to be like?
How much money is there in the world?
Does Mr. Kehm know how to shuffle?
Do chocolate and hot cheetos taste good together?
How much does the moon weigh?
When can I learn to fly?
Who wrote the bible?
Why do we revolve around the sun?
What will I do after high school?
Will I stay friends with all of my friends?
Will I be famous?
What would happen if everyone lived on the moon?
Will anyone make marshmallows healthy?
Will I find out who my birthparents are?
Can we implant memory devices in our head?
Who invented cameras?
Can I be an artist?
Am I special?
Am I talented?
Am I different from every other kid?
Am I smart?
Am I a good friend?
How many books have I read?
How many books will I read?
Will I ever learn to spell?
Is there such a thing as aliens?
Why is the sky blue?
Why is the sun bright?
Why is water blue?
Why is sand blue?
Will I get to graduate from high school?
Will I be a better artist when I graduate?
Will computers still exist 10 years from now?
Will a star fall from the sky?
Will the world end on 2012?
How big is the moon and the sun?
Can I be a great scientist?
Why are there so many colors?
Is art fun?
Why does the moon look so little when you are on the ground?
Why can’t the moon be bigger?
Why is the sun bright?
Who chose our school mascot?
Is art easy or hard?
Why is there winter?
How long are the classes?
Will 7th and 8th grade eat together?
Do I like rainbows?
Will I ever get my DSI back?
Why do trees grow?
Will I ever be able to swim?
Will people turn into zombies?
Will I ever touch a panda?
Why are the ripples in the water in circles instead of squares?
Why do we call colors blue, black, etc?
Why isn’t it natural to have hair that is purple, blue, green, etc?
How do glasses help you see?
Will I ever live in Mexico?
What did I do when I was little?
Would I ever live in a mansion?
Where did art come from?
Are most artists deaf?
Why do we need to go to school 5 days a week?
How did artist color their paintings a long time ago?
What time is lunch?
Why was nail polish invented?
How did my mom and dad meet?
Why can’t water be purple?
Were wizards ever real?
What will I be when I grow up?
Can people remember when they were in their mommy’s tummies?
Why did the summer end so quickly?
How were colors transferred?
Does every teacher have facebook?
Why are trees green?
Why can’t we stop time?
What is hair made of?
Will I make new friends?
Why does there have to be a leap year?
Why does it have to snow?
Will I ever like art again?
Are dragons real?
Will I ever be taller than my dad?
Will I be famous?
Will I become a baseball player?
Will I be a hero?
Am I mean to others?
Will I have a nice car?
Am I a good student here at KCAA?
What is the smallest thing on earth?
How are crayons made?
How do they get filament in lightbulbs?
How do you make lightbulbs?
What do they call Chinese food in China?
What is the smallest country?
What is the worlds longest word?
How do dreams work?
Hos do they mass produce clothing?
How is paper made?
Where does the word smorgesborg come from?
What is the worlds smallest official mountain?
Why is the sky blue?
Where is my mother?
What is Josh doing?
Will I ever read all manga?
Why is it called seeing stars when I am dazed?
Who won the computer from the library?
Why do stars appear when I am nervous?
Are my ideas for books good?
What number is after googleplex?
Is there life on Mars?
Will I ever go out to space?
Why do I have to stay on Earth?
What is out there?
Will I ever go to high school?
Did my mother have another kid?
Will I become a singer?
Will I become a rapper?
Will I become an NBA player?
Are dragons real?
Were vikings the most brutal warriors?
What was the first Bruce Lee movie made?
Will pandas learn to play double dutch?
Why are men stronger than women?
What will happen when the world ends?
Why do humans exist?
Why do we have hair?
Will there be another planet that people can breath on?
Will I get married?
Will my husband be cute?
Will I have 2 children?

Will my children be healthy?
Will I get a PhD?
Will I be a vet?
How many pets will I have?
Will I be rich?
Why are clouds white?
Why do we have blood?
Why do we sneeze?
Why are there animals?
Why does the Earth spin?
Why is the moon grey?
Why do we have different types of skin?
Why are their boys and girls?
Will I ever make it to college?
Can I be a better person by being nice?
Can I build a robot?
Do my parents think I am a great singer?
Can I change some of my classes?
How are you?
When we die do we get another life?
How old is the moon?
Who was the first man in the world?
Why do stars die?
Is skateboarding hard?
How many germs exist?
What do homeless people eat?
Is Mario Kart addicting?
How is my brother doing on his first day of 6th grade?
How old was my dad when I was born?
DId my parents plan for my birth?
How many kids did my parents want?
How did my parents choose my name?
Will I ever meet my real mom?
Why will my puppy turn gray at five months?
Will I be successful in college?
Do I have a sibling in Russia?
Why is it so easy for me to make friends?
What makes a volleyball so bouncy?
Can I be a chef?
Can I become an inventor?
Why is life sometimes hard?
Why is there smoke from a moving train?
How do clouds form?
Why don’t we feel the earth turn?
Why are there so many rules in basketball?
Why do we have so many laws?
Am I going to pass my classes?
Am I going to be a soccer player?
Who invented silly bands?
Why is cookie monster blue?
What was the guy in “The Scream” screaming about?
Can you teach me how to draw cool cars?
How does our body work?
Do you know how to draw me?
Where did humans find metal?
How was the sun created?
How do trees grow?
How did salt get into the ocean?
Why is the moon dark?
How was the moon created?
Who invented the table?
How do solar panels work?
What is the coolest thing ever?
When will I die?
What will the future be like?
Will I be president of the United States?
Will I make a cartoon?
Will I write a song?
Will I make a video game?
Will I ace this class?
Can I have sticky notes?
Will I get baked beans?
Will I ever get a date?
Will I be a famous artist?
How do airplanes fly in the sky?
Are dinosaurs still alive?
When will the next volcano erupt?
Is Mr. Mendoza mean?
Should I be a vetranarian?
How was the alphabet made?
What would happen if I created a new species?
What is going to happen tomorrow?
Why is this school awesome?

How does a helicopter move by moving a fan?
Why are my parents divorced?
Why are my dad and I smart?
Why did my dad join the service?
Why are video games addictive?
How fast does a bullet travel?
Who designed the sniper rifle?
Who designed the x-box?
Why is my mom a lesbian?
Why do we have trends?
What were my grandparents like?
How come people are not born with blue hair?
How does television work?
What is hair gel made of?
Why are smurfs blue?
Why to children have to dream?
Why are there famous people?
Why are boys hot?
Who came up with fake nails?
Who invented makeup?
Why do teachers treat us like we are “little?”
How was the internet made?
How old will I be when I get married?
Will I have my dream car?
Will I go to Paris one day?
What am I going to do next summer?
How was the Earth made?
How were phones made?
Was my mom bad when she was little?
Is Paris as beautiful as it is said to be?
Are animals smarter than we think?
Can people really predict the future?
Who was my dad’s first girlfriend?

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