Lauren Passmore, Stage 3 Teacher, shares how she gets students really engaged with learning!
It’s your mathematics block.
You’ve poured hours into planning a lesson that not only meets the outcomes, but engages your students and helps them to develop key understandings of the topic.
You begin your lesson and a hand shoots up.
‘Yes!’ You think you have hooked your students in! You call on them with excitement, when out comes that age-old question:
“Why do I need to know any of this? I’m never going to use it!”
Defining the “why” behind anything we do is imperative – for all of us.
If there were no reason to do something, we simply wouldn’t do it.
It’s no different for students at school: they not only want to understand what it is they’re learning, but they also need to understand why it is important.
It’s even more powerful when the “why” is relevant to their lives - at present, and into the future.
Focused on the Future
In all honesty, as a Stage 3 (grades 5 & 6) teacher, it had not really occurred to me that at such an early age, students would be considering their future beyond high school.
It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to visit St Luke’s Catholic College prior to my employment in 2021, that my eyes were opened to the power and merit in getting students thinking about and exploring possible pathways for their futures in grades 5 and 6.
On this particular day, students had just finished the BECOME program and were presenting their final products. The buzz in the air from students was inspiring. I was amazed by the students’ capacity to articulate the ins and outs of career pathways I’d never even thought of.
Students as young as 10 were running a career expo. They were individually articulating the roles and responsibilities of a person working within a particular field and why this would or would not be a suitable career choice for them. They described the lifestyle they envisioned for their future self.
I was impressed. But I didn’t fully understand the purpose behind this activity until I was given the opportunity to engage with Liv and Grace and the BECOME team in recent weeks. Then I was truly able to appreciate the profoundly impactful and purposeful experience that the BECOME program offers to students.
I was most impressed with the highly interactive web-based application that the BECOME team have developed. The application quite literally explodes in front of your eyes.
Students can explore a multitude of jobs and career pathways that are linked to their interests. The app helps students to make a list of preferences and reflect on their choices as they discover new interests and jobs that they never knew existed.
What I found most fascinating, however, was the ability to click on a particular subject such as Mathematics or Geography, and have hundreds of careers burst out across the screen.
This is how we create a sense of purpose or define the ‘why’ for what students are learning in the classroom.
This can be part of how we answer that question “why do I need to know any of this?”
Not only is the “why” defined, but BECOME helps us to take students away from the rigid line of thinking – that there is only one pathway to a successful life. Instead, the way students explore creates a sense of excitement and wonder about the possibilities of their future. Every student knows there are many options and paths.
I am beyond excited to work with BECOME team in Term 3, and cannot wait to see the meaning and purpose students walk away with at the end of the program.
The future is bright
A Postscript from BECOME:
We look forward to working with Lauren and her students too! We hope to bring you more from their experience as St Luke's Catholic College students explore many exciting options for their futures - and begin to work out who their future selves will be.