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Inside Teaching : October 2010
Inside Teaching | October 2010 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT TEACHING 22 What are 10 things I’ve learned about teaching? What I offer here are 10 things that have ‘bubbled up’ from my experiences – both positive and negative. I’m not, I hasten to add, pretending here to reveal the ‘holy grail’ of teaching; nor am I attempting to be comprehensive in covering what is important for all educators. 1WHAT ONE ACHIEVES IS THE CULMINATION OF MANY EXPERIENCES, A WILLINGNESS TO LEARN AND THE INFLUENCES OF OTHERS IN AN ONGOING JOURNEY. Education is not a solo journey. Here, the key question is about how our learnings can contribute to improved practice, and the learning and growth of others. Behind that question lies the belief that we need to be deeply committed to the learning of the young people in our care as the priority. I mean learning in a broad sense: academic, social, emotional, physical and spiritual, and I define that term very broadly. The learning of our students isn’t our only focus. While that’s a priority, we also need to continue our own professional and personal learning as a critical focus. 2A KEY ASPECT OF OUR CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL LEARNING IS MENTORING, FORMAL AND INFORMAL, PLANNED AND SERENDIPITOUS. A lot of good mentoring is the result of realising that you’re with the right person in the right place at the right time. Be alert to opportunities and take them when they are offered. 3LEADING ON FROM THIS, LEARNING WITH, AND FROM, OTHERS IS A CRITICAL ELEMENT OF PROFESSIONAL GROWTH. An important aspect of learning as educational professionals is the art of asking questions – of others, and more critically, of ourselves, to do with what we’re doing in our classrooms and what effects we might, or might not, have on the young people in our care. NEIL CRANSTON has learned that there’s more he doesn’t know than he does know and that he’s at his best when he feels uncomfortable and challenged, and he’s still prepared to explain 10 things he’s learned about teaching. things I’ve learned about teaching 10