Today, I got to be a panelist for our campus' second grade PBL presentation. I sat with several other panel members: student council representatives, fellow support staff (those of us without "regular" classrooms), PTA and school board members, including the superintendent. We were given a handout with some information on playground equipment and room for notes, along with a clipboard.
A group of students from each class, representing different areas of recreational and physical needs such as gross motor, fine motor, and sensory input/avoidance, pitched ideas to make our playground more accessible to students of all abilities. The students described the equipment they had researched, including the price and ideas for fundraising. They also talked about how the equipment best suited the particular need they were highlighting.
We were given the chance to ask questions of the groups after the presentations, and were encouraged to give our feedback via email. I couldn't help but marvel at the poise of these seven- and eight-year-olds speaking in front of their peers and authority figures. They seemed very confident when answering questions about their equipment choices.
Not long after, I emailed the team with my congratulations on a job well done, and my opinion on which items should be purchased. I received many thanks in return, for my time and my input.
I know that "other duties as assigned" can sometimes be a sore subject for educators, but this "other duty as requested" had me glowing with pride over our amazing students. I can't wait to see what changes they will bring to our campus playground!