DigiLit Sunday is hosted by Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche. Today, she asks us to consider the word “agency”.
Among the big stack of professional reading I did over the summer, was Upstanders by Harvey Daniels and Sara Ahmed. I was drawn to the work illuminated by the book – growing empathetic and socially responsible young citizens even as we seek to teach them about reading, writing, science, and math. And, I loved Sara’s “soft starts” to her day, described this way:
When we come in, we have to get in “the Zone” right away. That means our bodies and minds are focused and ready to take on the day. The same way we get ready before a big game or a performance, our actions show we are ready to be our best selves.
We began our new school year with a soft start, both in my morning as well as in my afternoon blocks: five to ten minutes of quiet, get “in the Zone” time. This will, I am sure, help my students gain a sense of agency in their learning lives. That is my my hope, but the truth is that we are getting there slowly. We are learning that agency begins with responsibility – to our classmates, and to our selves. And this is proving to be a harder lesson than I had anticipated.
We are learning that a soft start is not….
an opportunity to goof off
time to finish off disagreements begun in the lunch room
time to begin new disagreements
the chance to play
the moment to begin wrangling for the best comfy reading chairs in the classroom.
Agency begins with responsibility…and we are still learning about that.