Being an educator is more than a rewarding profession. It is a calling. In this calling we are given an opportunity and an obligation to not only educate students by teaching academic standards, but also to guide students in developing skills that will lead them to become successful, happy adults.
Take a moment and think of a young person you hold near and dear to your heart. You may be picturing a former or current student, possibly your own child or even a niece or a nephew. Hold this image in your mind and consider, what are crucial life skills you want your loved one to develop before adulthood?
Although literacy and math are critical skills that must be mastered among our students, are you only thinking of reading, writing and math? Absolutely not! Your reflections likely also include grit, perseverance, problem-solving, communication skills, and individual talents. We want our kids to be leaders, learners, and creators! However, is our current school system fostering the development of these skills? Is your classroom?
How Genius Hour Helps Teachers Facilitate Learning & Exploration
Implementing Genius Hour into the classroom allows students to explore, develop and discover their talents… find their GENIUS! Everyone is a genius at something! We should be asking kids, “What is your Genius?” Students should be given opportunities to discover their gifts and develop themselves as individuals.
But what about time? It is so difficult for us as teachers to carve out a portion of time to tackle anything else. We are already swamped with planning, teaching, grading, meeting and calling parents, staff meetings, ensuring our students have their basic needs met; the list goes on and on and on! Teachers are superheroes! This often leaves educators feeling like there is not any more time to add anything else to our already jam-packed day!
However, implementing Genius Hour teaches skills already in the curriculum in a differentiated format. Elementary, middle, and high school students can create websites, record songs, teach themselves to play guitar, start a fishing lure business… the list is endless. In the process of developing their genius, students learn how to problem solve, research, fail, revamp and communicate, which are all life skills as well as academic standards.
Why this Program Encourages Lifelong Learning
Teachers tend to feel like they need to be the expert of all topics in their classroom—that could not be further from the truth. In fact, it is empowering to students to let them be the experts. It teaches determination, perseverance and confidence. As a teacher in Genius Hour, you are the motivator and facilitator. You don’t have to know everything about everything! You are modeling how to be a lifelong learner!
Genius Hour is a gift we can give our students and ourselves. Strobel Education is committed to inspiring teachers and empowering students. Genius Hour allows teachers to truly see students as unique individuals and allows students to develop their talents and discover their GENIUS.
Sounds good! I’d like to see examples of schools using this.
Thanks for the response. I have worked with elementary, middle, and high schools to implement genius hour. In our online workshop we walk you through the entire process for launching it in your own classroom or school. 🙂
This is so true and teaching students how to “problem solve, research, fail, revamp and communicate” is the best!
Yes! Sometimes are school don’t allow much room for failure and try again, but we can change this!