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Choices, Choices, Choices!

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Posted in:  
Teaching and Learning
August 24, 2016

This seems to be the new buzzword in the media these days--from international athletes (making the wrong choices) to our presidential nominees (making the wrong choices) to our own children (making the wrong choices). But whether or not the choice is good or bad, I am still very much in favor of folks having a choice!

As educators, we at times are concerned about our students, faculty and staff not staying the course and making choices that are neither scripted nor a part of the “this is what we have always done” philosophy. But when these same entities (students, faculty & staff) are given the opportunity to create new ideas and when they are provided with the ownership to implement these ideas, our students, faculty and staff often become the beneficiaries of these “good choices.”

For example, when students are offered the chance to choose one of three essay questions to complete, the choice of a book to read or the choice of a research paper topic, we know they will be more fully engaged. I understand many educators feel the need to control the conversations and the intended outcomes, but it really doesn’t take much more effort to offer our students a choice of which of the 25 of the 40 math questions they choose to work/answer.  

How about administrators offering their staff the choice/opportunity of choosing new methods, like using Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc., as a more efficient way to share information with others?

Or what about administrators encouraging their teachers to choose a different way to deliver their content either by truly integrating technology or by “flipping” the instruction?

My opinion is that if given choices and we dare to choose to try (knowing there might be some failures), then Oklahoma will truly begin to see the power of positive, solution-oriented choices. Heck, who knows--we might even move up in the national educational standings!

May all of your choices be good ones!

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