1. Accept that schools don’t have a monopoly on learning.
People, and especially children, are inherently curious, and learn through necessity and purpose. Just because you teach a lesson on something doesn’t mean students will learn anything. What are your students passionate about? What can they not wait to get home to do? What are they learning despite your classes? Engage in this world and you’ll see real learning.
2. Try one thing
Don’t be daunted by the unlimited possibilities available to you. There’s new gadgets, jargon and trends all over the place and you can’t be expert in anything overnight. Just pick one thing to try this unit/week/lesson and have a go. If it doesn’t work – take the advice you would give your students – reflect and try again.
3. Do something you don’t intend to assess
Just let the students go – just for one task and see what happens. Ask them to make something, design something, and collaborate on something, or research something – for no other reason than that it might be fun or interesting. Who knows where you’ll end up? You don’t always need to control the outcome. Get involved in their conversations and be their guide.
4. Flipped Champion Pirates aren’t achievable
There are a thousand teaching models out there and all of them have at least some merit. But you can’t do everything. Steal ideas, borrow strategies, bend rules and create your own style. Use your strengths and develop your weaknesses and find what works for your students. Be a passionate human teaching, not a teacher teaching like a robot.
5. It’s not about YOUR teaching
It’s about THEIR learning. How much say do your students get into what they are doing? How often do you allow them to alter tasks or find their own way to complete an activity? Is your classroom about your students being compliant or about your students’ learning? How much time did you spent thinking about what you would say during a lesson versus what your students were going to do?
Journeys start with small steps. Any step, in any direction, will get you started.
This is a re-blog post originally posted by Chris Wise and published with kind permission.
Click here to view other articles by Chris
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