Instead of thinking that I am “The Teacher” – the knowledge giver who stands in front in total control-instead of that traditional pedagogy, we need a 21st century vision of teaching, where there is less teacher talk, where what I’m doing is thinking about how I am going to pull the most out of these kids; how I’m going to enable these students to be empowered; how I can make sure that I create a classroom that’s free from threat and stress, where they will be willing to take risks.
– Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, The Connected Educator
So how do we get out of our students’ way so they can become independent learners? It is hard to stop being the sage on the stage. Often it is about giving up control and tolerating the noisy, messy sounds of learning. As an educator my ongoing reflections on my own instruction always lead me to “stop talking so much, you lost them.” So being more of a coach and a cheerleader and less of a pontficator is the work of teaching these days. Tending to the delicate balance of crystal clear directions, engagement structures and routines with the chaos is the work.
If we can help develop in our students:
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
- Collaboration and Leadership
- Agility and Adaptability
- Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
- Effective Oral and Written Communication
- Ability to Access and Analyze Information
- Curiosity and Imagination
Then, we have done our jobs. When they don’t need us, then we can claim success!
May 2013 be the year of the teacher as coach and student as independent learner!
Happy New Year