At Colorado Academy Lower School, sometimes students are so engaged in learning that they do not want to leave the classroom to go home, or they do not hear the signal to move on to the next activity or to a special area. They are simply carried away in their learning, and in turn they are developing their love of learning and having a joyful time. In education, we call this supreme state, “flow.”
Teachers are the creators of the notion of flow within the classroom environment. Each student has their individual interests, knack, or talents. A teacher that knows their students is able to tap into those areas and inspire the true love of learning. The state of flow is created intentionally by the teacher and requires purposeful effort by the learners.
When teachers are thinking about how to create opportunities that might engender the state of flow, they:
- show sensitivity to students’ strengths, goals, and interests;
- use this to create and frame activities that are individually appropriate;
- empower students to be active in their own learning and not passive receivers of information;
- offer explicit and consistent feedback to students about progress;
- provide students with adequate time to focus and limit distractions in their learning patterns.
Think about a time when you have been so involved in an activity that you could not wait to engage in it again and how it inspired your mind. Reflecting on my childhood, I do not remember many flow times as a learner; however, as I work and learn in the Lower School, I feel as though I am swimming in a constant state of flow each day.
The flow is inspiring as I round each corner and witness it for adults and children on a daily basis. I am proud to say that it is the passion and commitment of the faculty and staff that create the “feel” and “flow” of the Lower School every single day.
Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire. –W.B. Yeats