Since I've become an adult, I've realized there is great value in being curious. I especially know this to be true in my role as an educator. Now this doesn't mean that it has kept me out of challenging situations. As I've learned that even as adult, not everyone is ok with me asking "why are we doing this?". Still, that's the same question that has motivated me to speak up and challenge the status quo when a process clearly is not working. Our convocation speaker put it this way, "When your horse dies, dismount." It sounds simple but it's so hard when broken systems have been the modus operandi. Asking the "why?" question has made me stand out among my colleagues as "the idea girl". Whenever they are looking for a creative, fresh idea they will come to me. That curious spirit, has driven me to participate in action research projects, share lessons learned with other educators at a variety of conferences and to persevere when it came to publishing my iBook, Mission 'Pod'sible: A Teacher's Guide to Podcasting.
I started developing this new philosophy several years ago, when I was still back in the classroom teaching Speech and Debate. One of our units of study was "Interview Skills". So I asked myself, "why not bring real people into our learning environment to conduct a mock interview with my students?" The students loved being able to sit with someone that wasn't me to answer potential job interview questions. The interviewers loved interacting and learning more about the students! It was a win-win and it was a real-world learning experience for them. Just by asking why or why not, it led to an annual event and some repeat interviewers!
Mims, C. (2003). Authentic Learning: A Practical Introduction & Guide for Implementation. Meridian, 12.