Figure It Out For Yourself! My classroom motto for the past umpteen years. This year as I ventured out of the classroom into the short-lived world of Tech coach, I often wondered what would happen to the FIOFY award that our grade level would hand out each year. Would it continue, would others look for this trait in children, would the motto live on?!
Happy to report that the legend continues. But, before I get into the who and why, let's chat for a few minutes about the whole concept of Figure It Out For Yourself.
As a classroom teacher, I am always impressed with those students that seem to have a slight edge over their peers. Why? What is that edge? How did they acquire it? How can I help those that are not figuring it out start to get that edge? To me, the student who is able to FIOFY is one who really has just some of the basics down. They have a pencil, and are not asking for a new one every hour. They know where their books are. No need to call Mom or Dad to bring in the proverbial forgotten instrument. They seem to have figured out how to play the school game and are comfortable with the game and who they are in the world. So, I felt, and still feel, that not being able to FIOFY is a skill, along with adding appositives to one's writing, that is a responsibility I have as a classroom teacher.
Granted, genetics probably are great part of the equation. Parenting? Certainly can't dismiss that one. Intelligence, maybe, but I have seen some students that are identified as gifted that couldn't figure their way out of wet paper bag. So how do I help?
This fall as I start another year, my students will be inundated with the phrase, concept, and modeling of FIOFY behaviors. Taking the 30 seconds to sharpen one's pencil prior to class. Preaching the 'Touch It Once' concept when it comes to being organized with paperwork. Discussing how to 'Watch the Show' and face forward while others are talking. Oh they WILL get the FIOFY concept!
So the award continued without me. This years recipient, from what I hear, was a student whose home life was one for NBC Dateline, but he figured out how to get his work done, how to be prepared for class, and what it means to play the 'School Game' Word on the street was that when he heard his name called, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
FIOFY. Not an award or concept that we can measure on a standardized test, but one concept that you can bet this classroom teacher will continue to preach this fall and all year long!