Who is teaching whom?

imageA shift is happening in the classroom.  A teacher who isn’t too confident about a new tool calls on one of her class to show her how to do it. Why not? She knows how to help children develop their learning and has some idea that this tool will help engage her pupils in motivating, active learning experiences. She knows that the tools will enrich what is happening in her class. She has the vision and the willingness to give it a try. But she’s stuck.  So she learns ALONGSIDE her class. It’s not that she doesn’t know what she is doing, but that she is developing her skills ALONGISDE her class’ learning. This is increasingly becoming a familiar story in schools and I believe it sends out very valuable messages to our children. That we aren’t necessarily an expert in everything. That it’s ok to to ask for help. That it’s ok to keep learning throughout our lives. That experts come in all shapes, sizes, ages. That problem-solving is done calmly and in co-operation with others. That when things don’t work right the first time, we don’t give up, we find a way around it.

Teachmeets for teachers are happening all over the country and a very special one is happening in Blackpool on June 16th. This time the children are going to be showing groups of other children and their teachers how they’ve been using technology to help their learning. Find out more about this amazing Kidsmeet here. Watch out for some amazing children sharing their learning with others and some amazing teachers who have been partners in learning with their classes.

So what have YOU learnt from the children you teach this week? Are you open to learning from your class? Do your class expect you to be the font of all knowledge, source of all wisdom? Or are they independent and autonomous learners with you as their map-reader, guiding them as they navigate their way through their learning experiences? Do you feel that you would be criticised for not having sufficient knowledge or skills yourself? Or would it make you feel vulnerable to admit to your class that you don’t have all the answers? How do YOU manage this situation in your own classroom?

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