I have been dealing with laryngitis for over a week now and sounding like a 1-900 number operator for weeks prior. This has made me really step back and see what I am doing as a teacher. I cannot lecture (or should not be lecturing) so what can I be doing in the classroom? So much! My kids have been watching their videos that I have previously recorded (thank goodness) and have been actually reading and leading their own discussions in class without me. People love to sub for me. They leave notes like "the kids are so well trained and know what they need to do.." Well, they aren't trained, but they do know what they need to do. They need to take responsibility for their own learning and they do. It is funny what happens when we step out of the way and let them lead.
I know that many teachers do not feel comfortable giving up the power that comes from knowing all the answers. And it may be uncomfortable to say "I don't know" to students, but that is exactly the modeling that we need to be doing for them. We need them to see us not know an answer and then model for them how to find it. Those critical thinking skills are so key and so very lacking in our schools. So if you want to help your students this week, take a moment and come up with a problem that you don't know the solution to and then find it with your students. The experience will be very rewarding for you and the students as well.