Great Teachers are Great Learners
June 21, 2011 4 Comments
This post is in response to a “conversation” that I was having with Justin Tarte when I commented on his recent post entitled, “For the love of learning…”. I mentioned a scenario in which I saw a teacher in our school teaching IB students about the scientific process by having them develop their own lab investigation using crickets. The students were completely engaged and the learning was authentic and amazing! After leaving that classroom, I walked down the hallway and the next room that I entered, students were filling in the blanks on a worksheet that the teacher has used for many years as they referred to the outdated textbook. The students were disengaged and some were on the verge of sleeping. Justin posed a few questions to me which made me think. What is the difference between the two teachers mentioned above?
The conclusion that I came up with was that, apart from having the necessary skills, great teachers are great learners. Great teachers are not afraid to step out of their “comfort zone” and experience something that is new to them. If we want our students to be life long learners, I believe that we must lead by example and we must be the “lead learners”. It’s not just about teaching a pile of content to your students…outstanding teachers witll teach their students how to learn the content. Also, great teachers understand that not all students learn the same way, or at the same rate…differentiation is the key. In order to become a master of differentiation, the teacher has to be willing to learn about the learning styles of their students. Collaboration is essential for teachers as they become the lead learners.
Does anyone have anything to add?