Day 18 of the +TeachThought 30D Blogging Challenge!
I've written about this before but I believe in it so strongly that I'm not worried about sharing it yet again. This motto was created by my class and I a few years ago. The students were aged around 9 and 10 years-old. It's become my driving force or mantra and I absolutely believe in it. I am a learner alongside my students.
I don't have issues with sharing learning or 'retaining control'. I never expect that I should know more than my students. Yes, content knowledge is important as is curriculum and teaching knowledge but these are ever-changing things and we, like our students, need to be able to adapt, construct and reconstruct knowledge and understanding. This is why I love what I do! It's the chance and opportunity to learn something new, to be exposed to new knowledge and create knowledge in our learning communities and environments. That's what makes what we do so exciting! Trust and respect are key. I never demand respect from my students - I have to earn that too. (I do demand good manners while earning their trust, however!) It's all about mutual respect and trust and a whole lot of fun and reflection.
I'm not the 'sage on the stage' nor am I the 'guide on the side' - sometimes I'm both, a balance and mix of the best of both I hope. My students are also the sages and guides. I'm a student, facilitator and lifelong learner alongside my students. I need to know the 'right' questions to guide curiosity but sometimes the most powerful questions will come from the students themselves. I'm a reflective practitioner and I expect my students to be reflective also.
This is a true community of practice and it's not limited to a specific age group.