The Candle Question | Hooray For Monday

Hooray for Monday is a weekly blog filled with questions, ideas, reflections, and actions we can all take to remodel the school experience for students. Prefer audio? Listen to the Hooray For Monday podcast! Available on your favorite platforms here.

December 11, 2023

By Jenna Fournel, Director of Teaching and Learning

How do you use candles this time of year?

This was the question we posed to teachers in our November Institutes and to our colleagues in a recent staff meeting and the answers were both enriching and insightful.

Listen to what they had to say on the Hooray For Monday podcast.

It’s a simple question on the surface, but think about what someone could learn about you based on your answer. Now think about what you could learn in a classroom full of answers.

From holiday traditions across faiths and cultures to family traditions inspired by the shortest days of the year — everyone has some association with a candle. Questions like this one that enable our students to both make connections with one another and share their unique perspectives and experiences are powerful ways to build community.

December is a hectic month filled with anticipation of winter break. It’s a time disrupted by assemblies and events that either aim to be neutral about the various religious and cultural celebrations at the end of the year or to include all of them in a dizzying collage of crafts, parties, and songs.

Sometimes we lose meaning and connection in the overwhelm of our to-do lists.

But if you make space for conversation around a universal question, you open the door for deeper learning. For example, today’s resources offer several extension activities that stem from the candle question.

May you find opportunities to enjoy a little candlelight this month and bask in the glow of learning with others.

For additional insights, resources, and information on Inspired Teaching teacher and youth programming, subscribe to the Hooray For Monday newsletter!

Hooray For Monday is an award-winning weekly publication by Center for Inspired Teaching, an independent nonprofit organization that invests in and supports teachers. Inspired Teaching provides transformative, improvisation-based professional learning for teachers that is 100% engaging – intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Our mission is to create radical change in the school experience – away from compliance and toward authentic engagement.

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