With school starting soon, I thought this post was a thoughtful reminder for educators, students and parents whether we are going through the motions of "business as usual" or re-assessing and re-iterating what to expect or what we do.
Australian Edna Sackson describes herself as "a teacher, a learner, an inquirer . . . and now a blogger." She can be found at What Ed Said, and works in an International Baccalaureate PYP school in Melbourne, Australia. I found her posts particularly sharp and insightful - hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Her simplicity of thought for such complex topics, the transformative journey of her teaching and the humility expressed in this post below is thought-provoking to say the least. Previously published in TDR as "10 Ways to Think Differently about Teaching and Learning," it is a classic. - C.J. Westerberg
and how much I have changed."
by Edna Sackson
A new school year is about to begin in Australia. It'll be the first time in nearly 30 years that I don't have a class to teach and it's not an easy adjustment! For as long as I can remember, I have started the year by planning the first day for my new classes. Reflecting on all those new beginnings, I realise how much teaching and learning have changed . . . and how much I have changed.
What needs to happen on "Day 1?"
I used to think . . .
- Explain your expectations.
- Establish rules.
- Know everyone's names.
- Arrange seats to minimalise talking.
- Organise books.
- Talk about homework.
- Tell them what they'll be learning.
- Make sure they listen.
- Get students working right away
- Show a firm hand.
Now I think . . .
- Ask about their expectations.
- Create an essential agreement.
- Know everyone's story.
- Arrange seats to encourage collaboration.
- Demonstrate that you value thinking.
- Talk about learning.
- Ensure they know that they own their learning.
- Make sure you listen.
- Show you're a part of the learning community.
- Laugh . . .
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