Did you see those students? How focused and engaged they were? Did you see that quiet classroom, that looks to be the perfect classroom. My insides cringe. Quiet = learning, since when?
I used to be a believer in quiet. After all, if the students were not quiet how could they listen to all of my wisdom? After all, I was the one with the degree, the answers, the path, the years, and mostly the responsibility for any and all learning. I was a trained professional and they were just students, empty vessels ready to be filled.
And then I thought about all that energy put into saying "shhh...." into asking for silence, not to speak with partners, face me, me, me, me. But it wasn't about me and it never should have been. It is about the students and them finding their voice, the knowledge, the confidence to believe in themselves and their brains.
So my perfect classroom now: a little messy, (after all learning is kind if messy), student-owned, pods, choices and that wonderful noise of learning. There are still guidelines, we are not crazy, but there is life, excitement and joy. So if you walk by my room and think we are a little bit loud, hey, that just shows there is learning going on.