Keeping learning as a teacher rather than a student

I love this week’s reading- “There is no teaching without learning”. It is really inspiring to learn that teachers should keep their curiosity and creativity when teaching, and keeping learning as a teacher rather than a student. What is the difference between learning as a teacher and learning as a student? One of the differences is, I think, to infuse what you learned into your teaching and improve your pedagogy. In other words, teachers not only have to keep updating their knowledge/skills, they are also able to transform what they learned to a class and help students to learn more effectively.

There are a variety of resources for teachers to learn. Firstly and directly, teachers can learn from their students. When I was in a statistic class in my college, the teacher always asked us to do practice in class. Then he would walk around the classroom and check our answer. If he found anyone’s way of calculation was different from him, he would be exciting and ask him/her to write down his/her answer in the blackboard and interpret it to other students. His class definitely broadens our way of thinking. The teacher is not only full of curiosity himself, he also let us to learn the different methods in solving the same statistical problem. Similarly, the discussion section in class between teacher and students also generate great ideas for teachers. Once in our contemporary pedagogy course, we discussed about exams in class as groups. One of my group members mentioned that his teacher would summarize the key points from last time before stating each lecture, and he felt this was very helpful for students to connect the previous knowledge. I am inspired by this method and immediately decided to follow this way next semester in my lab instruction (TA for an undergraduate course). Therefore, teachers always can obtain ideas or learn from students. Sometimes, the explanation of a concept from students is much easier to understand than the text book. Teachers can learn from the understanding of students and apply it in their future teaching. Besides, understanding from students is an immediate feedback to one’s teaching, which serves as an important tool to help teachers to improve their pedagogy.

Furthermore, teachers can also learn from experience from other teachers, advanced pedagogy, and new presentation techniques. One of my favorite college teachers is active in the cooperation with food industry and social media (food science professor). He gives lectures in TV to teach public how to regulate their diet and provides technique support for food industry. At the same time, he brings news from social media and industry to us in the class, such as telling us the trends for employment, future direction for food industry, news of food safety etc. Thus, as a future teacher, we should keep updating knowledge and skills ourselves, keep our curiosity and creativity, and incorporate what we learned into our teaching to help students to learn.

1 thought on “Keeping learning as a teacher rather than a student

  1. I’m so glad Freire’s ideas resonated so strongly with you, and I love the examples you cite from your own experience. The statistics teacher who was himself curious and learned with the class as you explored different methods of solving the same problem together sound just fabulous. Wow.

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