Archive | October 2013

SUBTLE – A Suggestion for Reflection

Michael, Oct 12

A desire to teach can be motivated by many factors; compassion, a desire to serve,  to share, or to dispense knowledge, as well as to achieve status, power over others, a safe job, great holidays or good pay. All the reasons in this panoply of factors, may appear to go from positive to negative, however, in my view they are all the antithesis of the way a teacher should be motivated.

When teachers are “doing teaching” with these attitudes, they are attached to the students emotionally, not professionally. Students come to learn what they need to take them forward, not to connect emotionally with the teacher. Any connection that is emotional should come naturally as a consequence of the learning. Creating a learning environment is a teacher’s job; the only job.

In order to illustrate my point, I will share an anecdote from my student teacher internship: My supervisor, a master of cornering students on the truth, asked me, after a week of my teaching a Grade 4/5 class, how I was experiencing the work. I waxed enthusiastic, declaring how amazing it was, and satisfying, that I felt better and had more energy at the end of the day than I did at the beginning! Looking at me carefully he said, “So, you are a parasite?” Shocked and hurt, I replied,”Why did you say that?” He answered me with, Well, you are sucking the energy out of the students aren’t you? As he walked away, the epiphany occurred wherein I understood the message he had been drilling in to us all year: Give the students what they need, not what you want to give them. It’s not about you; it’s about the learning that is occurring.

Have some fun reflecting on that.

How is your learning environment?

How are you attached to the students?

How can you avoid attachment?

Next week – How do you know what the students need?

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Your effect as a teacher

Michael, Oct 5, 2013

Reflect on this: Are you “TEACHING”, or CREATING a challenging learning opportunity which will take your students WHERE THEY NEED TO GO? Knowing the difference, and choosing the latter will mean becoming a more successful, effective professional.

Soon, I will be discussing Subordination of Teaching to Learning (SUBTLE) a practice that revolutionized my work. Resources inside and outside yourself that will help you will be listed and linked.

Follow this blog for discussion and postings about future events.

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