“Hello fellow teachers,” a student said to a few colleagues and me as we walked down the hall. “Since when are you a teacher?” one of my colleagues replied.
I was surprised by this response, and thought of Paulo Freire’s belief that all of us are both students and teachers. I also thought of my students, who taught me more about how to--and how not to--treat them and teach them than I learned from education courses, in-service training, or supervisors’ feedback.
I learned from students who told me I needed to talk less and listen more.
I learned from students who struggled with basic arithmetic but could solve logic puzzles faster than I could.
I learned from students who told me--and then showed me--they were better off in heterogeneous groups than homogeneous ones.
I learned from students who solved problems using different methods than the ones I used.
I learned from students who rejected my “you can do it too” speeches, and reminded me that I was there to teach them, not preach to them.
I learned from students who asked, “Why do we have to show our work if we can solve problems in our heads?”
I learned from students who told me my class was boring and why it was boring.
I learned from students who “needed” to go to the bathroom whenever they became confused in class.
I learned from students who disproved widely held stereotypes of low-income urban youth.
I could go on and on because I learned from all of my students (one of many benefits of my student feedback system). And if I hadn’t learned as much as I did from them, they wouldn’t have learned as much as they did from me.
Image provided by GECC, LLC with permission
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The opinions expressed in Coach G’s Teaching Tips are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.