9.08.2010

Teacher or Learner?

 a view from my classroom door

Do I teach more or learn more in my profession? Each day as I learn more about my students and how they view the world I realize you never stop learning.  Even though I have students two or three years  I continue to learn more about them each year. I realize part of that is because I am their writing teacher and students often share more of their inner thoughts and events of life through writing.

Just today I was reminded how death has recently touched numerous students in ways I never realized. I  learned that one student that appears tough on the outside was a bit scared when we did some research on the beginnings of some popular urban legends today. I also learned that a new student I just met is a pow wow dancer and travels all over the northwest performing with her family in pow wows and has lots to teach me.
How much do I really teach? I often see myself more as a coach or guide than a teacher. I don't teach them to read words or write the alphabet. I do coach them as to how to think deeper and respond more fully. I also guide them in how to take risks. I also learn how to become a better reader and writer right along with them.
Yes, I am more of a learner than a teacher. Perhaps that is why I stay in teaching. I reread a short story today that I have probably taught six times and learned more. I am challenging myself to become a better mathematician this year to assist students that struggle with math in a learning lab. I struggle with math so I am working side by side with these students so we can think and problem solve together. That will be a huge learning curve for me during this school year. I was really nervous as I took the pre-assessment today along with my students. Perhaps it is a good idea for them to see us out of our comfort zone.
I will continue to explore this idea of teaching and learning this year while I am relearning how to do geometry!

1 comment :

  1. Excellent post! I have always said the same thing, and you expressed it so beautifully.Teaching and learning are one and the same thing.

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