Monday, February 03, 2020

Learning what you already know

Have you ever noticed a child's face and body posture when you are teaching something they already know? Sometimes they tune out. Sometimes they get angry. Sometimes they call out.

I typically respond to the children with next steps. I may say that we're going to do a quick review then spread out depending on what we need, and what we know. I may say that it is important to revisit the topic in a new way as there is always more to learn. I may even ask the child if they want to work on something else if I know that the child has mastered the concept.

I am a lot like those children when new presenters that don't know me introduce information that I've already learned a lot about, information I've considered with depth. My initial response is to be insulted that someone can treat me as if I've never learned the information before. Like the students, I get turned off too. Yet, I know that there's always more to learn--like everybody else, I don't know it all. Then, as I tell students, I coach myself to listen, learn more, and consider deeper questions related to the topic. I also remind myself to listen to what others have to say to understand well where they are coming from, what they know, and what they question.

In the best of circumstances, I believe it is best for teachers to get to know their students well--to listen to the students, hear what they have to say, and teach those students well via their interests, questions, and needs.

There's aways more to learn about teaching and learning. None of us are ever there, there's always more to know. Onward.