Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Note For The Teacher


Dear Teacher,
I am a learner. I have certain needs and wants so I would like to give you a short lesson on how to get the best out of me...

1. Give me the choices - I like to have choices, not directives. You don't like being told what to do and neither do I - UNLESS I can choose from some options.

2. Trust me - do this by letting me have the power over my learning and the pathway that I follow. I will really respect you if you respect me enough to trust me. Oh - and don't think this means I know all of the answers, I still need you to guide this process!

3. Help me find my learning style - I really don't know the inside-outs of HOW I learn. You are the expert who can help me to tap into my learning style and in return, I will use this knowledge to move forward with my thinking!

4. Discover my 'IT' and let me immerse myself in it - everyone has an 'IT'. Some people love to fish, some to cook, some love music, some love bikes, some love movies and so on. I am just like everyone, so I have STUFF that I love to read, see and do. Find out what this is and use it to make me want to learn more!

5. Find unique ways to enthuse me - dancing around the room...being dramatic...making movies of us...recording my/your voice...putting my work on the ActivBoard as an exemplar...read me stories in silly voices...anything you can do that makes me buy into your way of teaching me!

6. Reward me - but with REAL stuff, I mean, value me as a learner! Stickers and certificates, Principal's awards, special people for me to take my work and show, putting my work on the school website or in the newsletter and so on. All of these small and big rewards help me to stay focused and to desire learning. No-one does something for nothing and I am no exception! I want to feel valued.

7. Take me on an authentic learning journey - don't just give me a topic an say, "This term we are learning about frogs." I might not care about frogs. I may already be a frog expert. I want to have some part in the planning process...well, I AM the one doing the learning, aren't I? If YOU want to know more about frogs, go to Wikipedia.

8. Leave the rest to me - it's like when I learnt to ride a bike...you had to take the training wheels off someday and let me fall...and get up...and fall...it teaches me to reflect, problem-solve and explore! It helps me to dare! It is part of building resilience! So walk on the path with me and then let me walk alone for parts...

9. Make me accountable - I need to know that you are going to make me report to you and that you have expectations for my learning. Give me some markers where you will be checking on me and conferencing me as I learn. Help me to decide what these will be and then hold me accountable!

10. Make YOU accountable - I have to know that you care enough about my learning for me to be able to hold you accountable. If you promise me something, I WILL expect it. If you plan to do something with me or for me, I WILL be disappointed if you don't deliver. I trust you to have integrity and I want to learn from you. Make sure you model what you want me to see.

And thank you my teacher, for your time, your desire to seek the best in me and for me. I will be a parent one day and then, and ONLY then, will I truly know what you have done for me.

Lerna x

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