Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Teaching: Whose Job is It?

When I first started teaching, and a child faced challenges, I sometimes blamed the family asking why? But now that I've been teaching and parenting for a long time, I look for solutions within the learning team (students, families, teachers, community, leaders) and ask how?

How can we teach this child better?

What can we do differently to inspire, strengthen, lift, and lead a young child from unknowing to knowing in matters large and small?

Asking why and blaming serves to elevate responsibility, while seeking the how is a challenging, collaborative process. Yet, it is the how that serves to strengthen the child.

Together the learning team, families, teachers, leaders, and community members, can use the why to inform the how, but how to do the job better and then doing that work should take center stage.

Looking back to see what didn't happen, what went wrong, or what could have been can inform next steps and a better solution, but looking back to simply blame has no merit.

The job of teaching belongs to the entire learning community: the student, the family, the teachers, the leaders, and the community.

The job of teaching is not just to award those for which learning comes easy, and disregard those for whom learning is a challenge.  Instead the job of teaching is to place every child on a sturdy, nurturing path of life long learning and positive development.

There's not one way to do this, and no child's path will be exactly the same, but the days of lauding those with certain skills over those with other skills are over--learning belongs to every child, and every member of that child's community has the responsibility to work together to teach that child well.