What is the purpose of school?
School has changed from the olden days to now. In the olden days school was where the teacher would lecture their students and the students would have to regurgitate it back to the teacher in a test format. Today there is more to the curriculum, which does not always involve desk work. Students have to be able to think critically, think for themselves, learn about responsibility, roles in the world and much much more.
As a teacher in the classroom this challenges us to have (or make) our students think critically, question the student’s beliefs and much more.
What should the role of the teacher be?
The role of the teacher should be to make everyone safe to learn. If the student does not feel comfortable in the environment they are not going to be willing to participate in class discussion and small group work. A teacher should also be a very open and kind person. If a teacher is stern all the time the students are going to be afraid to ask questions when they are wanting to know more about the subject or for clarification if they are confused. A teacher who can laugh is an essential in a Middle Years classroom. If you cannot take a joke or laugh with your class I do not think that they will say very much in class. The teacher’s role should be to also make fun and enjoyable lesson plans which does not include everyone sitting in their desks. Students are most likely to do better on a test if they have not sat in their desk and copied down questions: they will be able to remember it better. Another job of a teacher is to give their students resources when the teacher is not an expert on the topic.
What type of learners do you want to develop in your classroom?
Like the quote by John W. Gardner that reads “Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.” I want to develop the types of learners that will be willing to try anything. I also want learners that feel safe to be in the classroom. The atmosphere has to be safe for the students to go into cold water for a little while. Students should not be secluded to desk work either. I am a firm believer that working out of the desk is the best kind of outcome. I think that students work best when they are not sitting in their desk. I think when students copy down notes it goes in on ear and out the other. With movement in the classroom plus learning it will stick in their head better. I want to develop thinkers in my classroom. I want to be able to give them a hard questions and see them push through and get an answer.