1. What are the ways that inquiry has had a positive impact on your teaching and / or student learning?
The biggest impact inquiry has had on my teaching this year has been in the way that I plan my units/lessons. When I used inquiry as my vehicle for student learning, my planning became much more authentic. I was meeting the students where they were in their learning and allowing them to live and learn on their own time.
The struggle to allow them this time was FIERCE! I felt pressured by testing and "getting it all in". Our inquiry group question "How do I know they know what I think they know?" (or something like that) constantly stayed with me. What I do know is that kids were engaged. They were thinking. They didn't want to stop at an "answer". This is what will inspire me to dive in deeper next year.
2. What are the drawbacks? What are the ways that inquiry still feels uncomfortable? What are you still unsure about?
Inquiry still feels somewhat uncomfortable to me due to all the unknowns that I feel exist still. I know kids are learning, but what data can I use to support this? I would like the going public piece of inquiry to become more meaningful and authentic. So far kids have produced products very guided by me as far as what information they need to convey.