Teaching and doing worksheets, I realised how much education is based on “listen to me, now tell me the answer from what I just said”
How little education is about figuring things out, or standing out and being a leader.
As a teacher, I know the importance of teaching kids to follow, but it’s also too easy to forget the importance of letting kids try out things their own way.
Who do I want to be? The teacher that stops a kids from making up words to their own songs?
Do I want to be the teacher that won’t accept any answer but that which I’m aiming for?
Who am I teaching?
Robots? Little automatons that follow only and don’t get creative?
Or do I want to be the teacher that encourages to see shapes in the clouds, invents new words, creates silly dances.
My keywords this coming May?
A teacher once said to me, “your students are more concerned with talking about your clothes/accessories than looking at the flashcards”
Well, I’m an English Teacher, so my reply was “awesome! I should wear something crazy everyday!”
At that, some people get confused. And here is a short simple way to understand why I’m so happy that my student was “not” paying attention:
- Flashcards are a tool for teaching. Any teacher that thinks that the point of the lesson is the flashcards, might as well accept that their stunt will only ever be capable of shouting out random words when they see an object.
- Learning isn’t limited to the classroom or even the teacher’s input. It’s about understanding and putting into context the world around you. When a student of English comments “it’s so cute” while you are doing something else, it isn’t a sign that the child isn’t learning. It’s the opposite.
- Teaching isn’t limited to the materials in your hands, it should include every action you make around students, how you respond to their creativity, and being interested in their interests.
Teaching will only get the students to your level. Encouraging students to learn will push them beyond even the teacher’s abilities.