Yesterday we looked at Principle #1 – I am Not the Teacher. The next principle is directly tied to this one. If we desire for students to approach and learn from their inner teacher we too must be a student of our inner teacher. The hard part is thinking of how this might show up in the classroom.
Today, we receive contradictory advice on “great” teaching practices. Some say you cannot admit you don’t know something to your students or they will lose respect of you. Some say that students do not need you at all and they should be free to learn on their own. Both extremes are poor alternatives to the fundamental truth of this principle that as written in The Choice: In Teaching and Education is, “Students learn best by watching others learn, not by watching others teach” (The Arbinger Institute p. 20).
The next passages in the text challenge us about who the real master teachers are, the children themselves. Here is a quick snippet:
“Who can deny that they are the most brilliant teachers of all? For they join with their friends, each sharing strengths and abilities in ways that invite others to quickly acquire them.
Did any child ever kick and scream to avoid these lessons? Was there ever a child that only went through the motions in the presence of such teachers?” (The Arbinger Institute p. 20).
What can we learn from these master teachers? Some may extract that learning must be made fun! Yet, is it really simply fun? Learning to ride a bike and you fall down and scrap your knee…not fun, but for some reason that does not stop a child from getting back on it to try again even though they got hurt…they failed. Learning is a thrilling process because of the challenge and the time that is committed.
I return to this question, how can we practice learning for our students to see and apply in their lives?
I’ve pondered this question and I am still grappling with the magnitude of its calling. In private, I push myself to learn and trial, but how might I pull back the curtain a little for my students to see?