Comfort Zones

As a teacher of GCSE and IB Diploma students (I’m currently in China, but returning to the UK in June) I feel that one of the most important things we can do for our students is to keep nudging – gently and nicely – them out of their comfort zone. Make them feel just a little uncomfortable.

But they are already under enough pressure, so why give them more? I’m not talking about pressure, but about making sure that we add genuine value to their education, by not allowing them to stay intellectually and ethically unchallenged – by never being satisfied with the first answer. And maybe we can help them realise that the curriculum content is not everything they need to know (in your hearts, you know that’s true).

In English lessons, we can certainly find resources and stimulus material that force them to think more deeply about the world around them, and the way they interact with it. Bring ethics into science lessons when it can lead to an interesting twenty minutes.

Sure, it means we have to take a few risks … but maybe, for some of us (myself included), our own comfort zone is getting a little too comfortable.

This ‘In Brief…’ article was originally printed in the June 2016 edition of UKEdMagazine.

Click here to freely view online

@earthdog_58 Teacher – China

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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