Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Most Challenging Post to Write...

"We are all teachers and we are all learners in our learning environment."

We're at the halfway point in our 30 Day Te@chThought Blogging Challenge for our Reflective Teacher month and this just might be the trickiest post to write.  There has been lots of discussion on Twitter that suggests that this is true for many of us.

As teachers we are just not good at stating our strengths.  We don't want to brag and yet we are so good at encouraging our students to state their strengths and the things they are proud of.  Weird, very weird.
We should be able to do this too - and should be proud of our strengths.  So...I'm sitting here typing and guess what??  It's so HARD to be able to do this!!  I'll give it a go though as I don't ever expect my students to do something that I wouldn't do.  It's also a great challenge as I apply for a range of leadership positions.

I love helping my students find their passions and become excited about learning.  It's crucial for me to know my students as individual human beings - what are their passions, hobbies, what drives them and how can I use this to help them become intrinsically motivated learners?  This is always my goal.

The quote at the top of this post was created by my class of Year 5/6 students back in 2010 and it became our motto.  It's something I've held onto ever since and I'm always quoting them.  I encourage and expect my students to be able to share their knowledge with others - no matter whether it's other students or parents and teachers.  I love being able to learn alongside and with my students.  For me, this is one of the key reasons why I do what I do - and love what I do.  There is no fear of 'giving up control'.  We share the control.  It makes for a fantastic learning environment which is incredibly respectful and fun.

I've had my hair dyed red by students, set up the silliest April Fool's tricks...you probably get the idea.  I love to laugh and learning, while sometimes hard and challenging, should always have a sense of fun to it. School camps have always created an environment for some serious learning - and serious fun.  There was one year where, six months later, I was still removing breakfast cereal from my pack!!
Don't take yourself too seriously and you can go a long way.  We take our learning very seriously but there's always, always a sense of fun and enjoyment too.
I'm passionate about learning and teaching.  It excites me and drives me to constantly strive to be the best I can be.  My students need and deserve this.  I am as passionate today about what I do as the day I began training to become a teacher.  If this ever changes then it will be time for me to leave the profession.  My students and school deserve nothing less than passion for what I do.

From the first day I entered University to train as a teacher I've been passionate about the use of technology to impact learning and teaching and to help all our students achieve no matter what their skills, talents and abilities.  I'm also passionate about keeping up with best practice so I'm always reading and researching to make sure that I am able to provide the best learning and teaching for my students.  I also have a very large global PLN which I rely on to challenge my thinking and ideas and expose me to new thinking.

This probably ties in with #4.  I'm constantly reflecting on what I can do better.  Student voice and student data is a major part of this too - it drives me to reflect and alter my practice where necessary so that I can meet the needs of every individual student to ensure they have the most successful year possible.  This is what drives me and what I am incredibly passionate about.

#reflectiveteacher 30 Day +TeachThought Blog Challenge


  1. Justine, wonderful, wonderful! The "no fear of giving up control" resonates with me because I've been there myself. They learn so much more when there is less structure to the learning experience.

  2. Thanks Susan - I've always believed this and have worked with many teachers over the year to make it happen for the students in their classes too. It's so powerful for all learners - us included in that. :-)