As 2010 drew to a close I took advantage of the opportunity to do some sale fuelled holiday shopping.
I took the train into Glasgow (Which direction would you like your seat to face?)
I ordered steak for lunch (How would you like that cooked? Would you like fries or potato? Veg or salad?)
I tried on new boots (Would you like the ankle or knee length? Heel or wedge?)
Finally I stopped off for a coffee. You can hear the options already – espresso, latte, cappucinno? Mocha, caramel or vanilla? Sugar – lumps or grains? Milk or cream? Regular or large?
You get the picture.
I am able to get things just as I need them in the hope of making my experience as pleasurable as possible, because then I will come back. Simple consumer driven service.
As adults going about our day to day life, I realised that we regularly consume products and services which are tailored to our very specific needs and desires, and I began thinking about how I will take forward the action for change in my own teaching.
Yes, I differentiate my teaching.
Yes, I am aware of the individual needs of the pupils I work with.
But how heavily do each child’s personal preferences impact on the learning experiences offered to them.
I respect theory and professional research, but I propose aligning my teaching to cater for the diverse desires of the children I serve rather than doing what the research says will work best. I will help them understand what they need to do to learn well, and following their lead, I will aim to give them an uplifting, pleasurable, meaningful and successful year of learning in which they feel empowered, respected and valued.
After all, this is their future, and that’s way more important than a good cup of coffee.