In this kind of work, it is important to let students find and make their own choices. They will find things you never thought of if you are able to step back.
Keeping that in mind here are some kinds of roles that a teacher can play in a student organized project:
- Guiding questions, for example:
- “What’s your plan?”
- “What do you think comes next?”
- “How does this connect?”
- Knowledge/Skills resource
- After the main skills have been taught, the digital and specific craft skills may not be something that all the learners need, so the role of the teacher is to pay attention to the students, and anticipate when they are going to hit a knowledge gap.
- When that becomes clear, fill the gap and step back
- Structured formative check-ins and protocols
- This is an area that once a warm-up or protocol has been introduced, students may or may not want to take the lead
- Connect to community resources
- This is the biggest adult role: connecting youth to adult resources and using your position to make things happen (signing permits, calling offices, connecting to prominent community members, etc)