Saturday, October 06, 2012

Teacher as Diagnostician?

The more I teach, the more I realize that what I like best about the job is matching just right curriculum and process to learners in an effort to engage, motivate and teach.

I just spent the morning tailoring math lessons, practice packets and lists of online sites and games to boost individual students' performance and skill.

That's why no one curriculum, online venue, field study or program ever works for me--I teach in response to the students in front of me and the identified primary standards for success which include the following:
  • reading comprehension/fluency
  • writing skill/fluency
  • mathematical/scientific understanding/skill
  • identified content that matches students' passion/interests
  • 21st century/life long learning attributes: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.
Essentially I am invested in the role of diagnostician and learning coach.  

In that role, I find myself committed to these activities:
  • Reading and research related to the science of learning.
  • Searching for the best learning tools, venues and experiences.
  • Listening to, and getting to know learners with depth and care.
  • Responding to students' needs and interests.
  • Coaching my students with positivity, vision, respect and kindness.
Does the role of diagnostician or coach match your definition of teacher?  How would you modify or enrich the activities list I've presented?  In what ways is this a role shift from the teaching role of the past?  What do teachers need with respect to structure, environment and support to perform this role with strength?

As I move along my professional journey towards teaching children well, I will continue to consider these questions and actions.  I look forward to your response.