Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teaching to Yourself as a Student

Do you think many teachers go into education fueled by their own experiences as a student?  I believe teachers often "teach to themselves as students."  It's a natural reaction we have to be wary of because not one of is "all students."  Instead, as teachers know, students come to us, each with a unique set of strengths, challenges, interests and experiences.  Hence, as teachers, we need to learn about and teach many students not just "ourselves as students."

The fact that teachers themselves represent a large array of student styles brings strength to our collaboration.  It would be interesting to listen to a group of teachers discuss themselves as learners, the approaches that worked for them, and how that affects the teaching they do each day.  I often query colleagues regarding their student styles to gain insight into the students I teach.

Further, we have to make time for parents and other family members to tell us about their children's learning style, interests, skills and challenges.  Perhaps a pre-school year survey or meeting would help with this.  Knowing our students well helps us to teach all students, not just the students we were as young children and teenagers.