During an #rscon10 session last week led by @AngelaMaiers, Angela challenged us to “stand up in front of kids not as a master teacher, but as a master learner.” What a powerful statement. I immediately tweeted that out as did others.
This statement alone is very powerful and it’s an important one for us teachers to reflect upon. It helps me to remember that my job as a teacher is more than just teaching, it is leading and coaching and modeling. In this day and age, it’s not just about how smart you are. It’s not just about memorizing facts and figures. (We have immediate access to that.) It’s much more about what you do with knowledge and how you shape your opportunities to further yourself. You need to be a constant learner!
When I look at my own teaching, I always seem to think that I never do enough modeling. Modeling how to think through problems, how to attack unknown words, how to plan a piece of writing. But it’s more than that, it’s leading by example. What does your work area look like? Do you read while your students have sustained silent reading time? Do you persevere when things get tough or get frustrated? Do you show curiosity and creativity throughout the day?
Our students pick up on everything we do and it seems we can teach them a much more rich curriculum if we do so by exemplifying what it means to be a masterful learner.
Check out this post I came across from Twitter… has many of the same ideas expressed here.
“Why You Should Blog, Twitter, and Comment” Short, sweet and to the point!
Great post Elizabeth!
More now than ever educators need to be “learning guides” as opposed to resident experts. Students today have all of history’s information available at their fingertips. They do not need to hear about it, they need to learn how to use and synthesize it to take control of their own learning! Keep up the great work!
I’m so glad you are modeling for and inspiring teachers to reflect on their work.
The master teachers I have known not only demonstrate their passions for the subjects they teach; they are also willing to engage with their students in the learning process, sometimes responding to questions with curiosity (as genuine acknowledgment) rather than answers. They use a more constructivist approach to teaching/learning, discovering alongside their students what can be achieved in the processes of asking and trying.
To be a master teacher/master learner means never acting like you have all the answers, and never ceasing to be amazed, to see the awe. It is much more than modelling the learning process; it is engaging in the learning process.