Tony Gurr

Who will my students BECOME after they LEARN with me?

In Classroom Teaching, ELT and ELL, Teacher Learning, The Paradigm Debate on 18/07/2013 at 9:25 am

TEACHing is not LEARNing

8

This little image is one of the very first I did for the blog – almost 3 years back!

It’s been downloaded so many times – hey, some people have even conntacted me and asked me for “permission” to download it (yes, there are many nice guys out there…gals, too). Others have suggested that I add a word or two…we could probably add many!

8

Not that you need me to tell you…but I was kinda stating the obvious when I did this – and, I was also linking it to two other questions that TEACHers ask themselves on a Monday morningor Sunday night:

The toss up (LEARNing vs TEACHing)

8

Very different, aren’t they?

8

It’s not really a toss-upit’s a choice!

I’ve found that the TEACHers who ask the second question “do business” very differently to those that ask the first. I’ve also “confessed” (and recently re-booted the post in which I made that confession) that I used to ask the first far more than I ever asked the second.

So…how do we get from that second question to the one I have used at the title of this post?

8

Well, I thunk it’s a question of what matters…or, to be more specific, what we thunk matters…and what we do to breathe life into that thunk.

8

Go back to that first image, for a minute…I was suggesting that there are 11 things that are really important in allthingsLEARNing.

If you had to choose 3 of them, what would they be?

8

  • FUN, perhaps? It’s important, for sure…but it might not make the top 3, yes?
  • What about REFLECTION? Yes, that one might be in there.
  • FEEDBACK? The LEARNing lubegotta have that in my top 3!

8

Or, maybe, it’s EXAM PASSES!

8

For me, top of the list would be:

Change (Margaret Mead quote) Ver 02

8

Come on! Only 18 words there…you know the ONE!

8

Need another clue?

Change (David Thoreau quote)

8

It’s in there TWICE

8

OK…I know you have got it by now – but I just wanted to throw in this one, too

Change (Maya Angelou quote) Ver 03

I know, I know…but I did take all that time to prepare it!

8

Besides…who doesn’t love the She-Hulk? I bet Maya Angelou does…

8

Change (Leo Buscaglia quote)

8

LEARNing has to involve change…change in the way the LEARNer thinks, feels and acts.

It’s not just about LEARNing “stuff” or it shouldn’t be. The “stuff” we are creating these days is growing at exponential rates…and if our goal, as TEACHers, is to simply TEACH this stuff, we might as well just pack up and go home – and leave it all to the tech we now have!

8

This is why our questions have changed…have to change.

Just asking “What should I TEACH today”? …is a “stuff question”.

Asking “What should my students LEARN today”? is an improvement…and, asking “What should my students be able to do with what they LEARN today”? – is even better!

8

However, asking:

Who will my students BECOME

…is a whole new ball-game.

8

A ball-game that scares the crap out of many TEACHers!

8

Indeed, many TEACHers I have discussed this question with tell me it’s an impossible question – especially those that work in the ELT “racket”. They tell me that primary TEACHers (even university TEACHers) have a shot at this – they are well-placed…they have enough stuff to TEACH…they can shape minds (and souls)!

A friend of mine once told me, “I’m beginning to think that all that stuff about you being a LEARNatic is true…Come on! I’m just a bloody language TEACHer…I TEACH grammar…sorry, language communication skills…I help kids with the 4 skills…and vocabulary”!

8

Read that again…

8

My friend is, by the way, a great TEACHer. But, he is notgreat” because of his knowledge of grammar…nor because he knows how to TEACH the 4 skills (rather than just “practice” them using a silly textbook).

8

but...

8

…look at how he describes himself!

8

I wanted to slap him upside his head when he said this! Instead…I think I made him pay the bill!

8

Why do so many TEACHers put themselves down in this way?

Maybe it’s because this is what institutions have LEARNed themI don’t know!

8

Change (Seth Godin quote)

My friend is a great TEACHer because he really knows how to “connect” with his students…and because the quality of his interactions with his “kids” allow him to make a real difference to the way those kids think, feel and act – and I ain’t only talking about GRAMMAR!

You see…it doesn’t really matter “what” we TEACH…what discipline we work in, yani! Afterall, none of us really “TEACHes courses”, do we?

We TEACH kids, teenagers, young adults…and even old farts like me!

8

When I had this discussion with my old pal, it took a long time to convince him (what the heck…he was paying the bill)! Seth Godin had not published his latest book The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

I wish he had! Perhaps, we’d have fewer TEACHers saying the type of things my friend was saying.

8

Seth’s book has also led me to add another little question to my list:

8

Who will I BECOME (as a TEACHer)

8

…far more important for us as EDUcators, yes?

8

Afterall, we (also) need to remember the words of Ellen Hocam:

8

Change (Ellen Glasgow quote)

8

8

Wonderful BEDtime reading for every TEACHer (and their dogs):

8

The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin

8

About these ads
  1. […] Who will my students BECOME after they LEARN with me?: This little image is one of the very first I did for the blog – almost 2 and half years back! It’s been downloaded so many times – hey, some people have even asked me for permission to download (and use, I guess) it. – Tags: 24 july – http://allthingslearning.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/who-will-my-students-become-after-they-learn-with-… […]

  2. I tend to easily agree to everything you say. In this post, doesn’t seem to be different. Great to be reading your posts again. I hope I haven’t missed any other one. While I was reflecting on my Reflective Practice Mission Statement and writing the post, I questioned my role as an English teacher versus what I had always believed (as an educator). Learners expectations and beliefs play a huge role in the whole process too and many belief that teachers are there to teach just the stuff. Primarily my job is to teach stuff. Still I have no problem in asking myself what will my students be able to do with the stuff they will learn. But once we ask this question and perhaps our students should be asking this questions too, maybe finally they will be able to evaluate the need to learn this or that and how. I wonder. Something I can definitely take to class. Thanks Tony!

  3. lol I just realised this is in fact an old post. How did I miss this one? :/

    • Hi Rosie,

      LOL – that’s why I added the “upgrade” note. But, I have to say – the images are better.

      I had to take a bit of time out – got a wee bit sick and had to unplug a little. “Unplugging” allows me to thunk – and this was one of the areas my mind kept coming back to. I often say “it is NOT about US” when it comes to TEACHing and LEARNing…that’s true – in the classroom. BUT, it is about US – before we get in “there”.

      That’s why I love that “new” question I added – it just seems more powerful. Well, it made me thunk a lot more than I usually do ;-)

      Take care,

      T..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,572 other followers

%d bloggers like this: