Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Who dares to teach must never cease to learn

"But Miss, doesn't that make you a rubbish teacher, then?"

This was a genuine question from my year 9 dual linguists today. They were set the challenge of labelling a scene with as many items of vocabulary they could, using their newly acquired dictionary skills. These beginner Spanish students, were somewhat surprised shall we say, to hear that I said I always loved tasks like this, as my students usually ended up teaching me new vocabulary, words for things I hadn't ever needed before (wing mirror being a case in point). The pupil I quoted wasn't being intentionally rude; she really thought that as the teacher, I ought to know everything. Everything. Every single word in the Spanish dictionary. What followed was an interesting discussion about vocabulary and having an active working memory of words that are applicable to us as individuals, but it raises an interesting point, and one which I gave some thought to following this weekend's TLT event at Southampton University.
As teachers, we should be modelling the behaviour we expect of our students. For me, that's a positive approach to learning. I attended an excellent session on Saturday afternoon with Chris Moyse who talked us through the approach to lesson observations at Bridgwater College Academy. A gem of an idea I have taken from his talk is one that I am hoping to implement in my own practice. Teachers at his school share their short term target on a poster outside their classroom, so that the students can see what their teachers are working towards too. 
This approach to learning, this open attitude to continual professional development really resonated with me and I hope that as professionals, we would all have a commitment to our trade. After all, to continue to learn doesn't make you a bad teacher.

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