I don't have them yet, but I want rats in my classroom. No, not the gray furry kind that scamper among the subway rails of New York City, but the "Rats,--I'm-done-with-this-class" kind of rats. I have the summer to achieve it. So what brought about my fascination, some say obsession, with rats?
I read an article recently about Finland implementing a new program where they will be eliminating subject areas. Instead, they'll integrate subjects across the curriculum. It's inquiry-based and project-based combined.You can read about it here. It is fascinating and something I've thought about for the past decade or so. What would my world look like, my school look like, if we implemented something like this? Would absentee rates diminish? Would engagement increase? Would students switch their countdown to being done with a class (sheesh, FINALLY I'm done!) to being done with a class (rats, I loved this class!) I never thought I'd say this, but I want rats in my classroom this year!
Would it be radical for a whole school to want rats in the classroom? Maybe, but could that tenuous move be beneficial to kids? I think it might. In fact, I think this is something to pursue because it could challenge us professionally and challenge students as well.
It's definitely something to consider.Work for teachers? Sure. Engagement for kids? Almost guaranteed. And that could make all the difference.