I love my GPS! No other device can predict with near certainty just how long it will take me to get somewhere. It’s nice to be able to listen to some music or a podcast without having to really think about when I need to make my “next move.”
The other day I was coming home, using GPS directions. The trip was going quite well until I arrived in the town over from mine and turned off my GPS, confident that I knew where I was headed when I was met with the dreaded DETOUR! Nothing like seeing the bright orange signs to throw you for a loop. Add in the fact that it was now dark and you have a recipe for certain panic.
This got me thinking (since I had extra time as I drove in a literal circle to try to get home). Teachers use GPS in their classrooms all time in the form of schedules and lesson plans. These are great tools. They help us create a clear path to our goals and help us stay on that path, but what happens when a child asks a question that is not a part of that clear path? Do we ignore that and keep driving, or do we take the detour?
These moments are our opportunity to actively involve the children in creating their own learning path. I can’t think of a better way for a child to learn than to be in control in this manner. This empowerment can be beneficial in creating a positive learning environment and confident children.
Take the detour. You never know just where it might lead you.