focus, connections, depth, teamwork, well-rounded, organized, professional, scaffolding, map, guide, efficiency, systems, routines, the big picture, prevent gaps, reliable, predictable, equitable, target, essential outcome , common,

When I was asked to write about freedom in structure I was excited. I love structure (in theory at least) and I am always trying to fit a little more structure into my own life, let alone my classroom. Structure in my kitchen, my car, my closet, my daughter’s closet, my filing system, my family photographs, my receipts, my Christmas list, my grocery list, my to-do list, my honey-do list…you get the picture. Oh, but this is about freedom in structure in the classroom. I‘m getting to that, but as any educator would agree, our classrooms are really an extension of our ourselves, our homes, our families, a reflection of who we are and how we think and behave. So, some of the structure in place in my classroom is strong, like the structure of my newly organized recipe collection, other areas need a little tweaking.

So, where to begin? I took the liberty, aka freedom, of making a list. A brainstorm. Or, as we like to refer to it in our district, a Type 1. List all the words that come to mind when you think of “Freedom in Structure”. Inevitably, a word or two spawns another word, maybe a string of words, a connection to a past experience or thought, a phrase, or even a unique idea, a breakthrough perhaps. Even as I type this sentence, I just added a word to my list. When I look at this list, a structure forms. I see how I can organize my thoughts around this broad topic. This organization didn’t come to me at first, as it often does not for my students. They too need the freedom to explore and make their own connections. I, like my students, was given a mission, a goal, an assignment. I know my destination, but the journey is up to me. Freedom in structure.

I envision my thoughts fitting into four categories: classroom routines, curriculum development, curriculum instruction, and assessment. So, my next writing will be focused on classroom routines.

The final “freedom” in writing this blog…I can click ignore once on all my faux pas underlined in green! Ahhhh, the grammatical freedom in blogging!