Saturday, May 08, 2010

What's in your head, teacher?

So you are attending for child's first teacher conference. You are nervous. You want to be assured by the professional at the other side of the table that your child is doing fine. Your thinking, "I wonder if Johnny is up to grade level."

Across the table, Johnny's teacher is remembering the very last comment she made to her class that afternoon, "You know I’m not your major teacher in this class. You guys are. There are 32 of you and one of me. So, don’t tune each other out. You all are teachers and just think, if you learn three new things a day how much you’ll know by the end of the year."

Not the "major teacher?" No way. In these instances, the elementary students are the authorities -- 'cause it sure ain't the teacher.

Note: This article is from the, the website for the nonsense that is the Teachers College of Columbia University. Not to worry, this nonsense is not only Ivy League. It's in OSU and in your local public school.


Anonymous said...

That Teachers College piece was 11,000+ words. By contrast, research published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine detailing the discovery of the gene mutation that causes Tourette's is 3,300 words.

Why is it that so much thought and effort is put into the process of learning? Oh--silly me--because poor outcomes can be BLAMED on process, necessitating more research into "epistol--" whatever. The more complex these empty heads make their field seem, the more we'll need them (and will need to fund them) to unlock the secrets of learning.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of truth to this statement. Most kids know more than they let on or want to admit. One of the key tenets of working with kids is to answer their questions with a questions. Most kids know the answer if they think about it. I learned this as a camp councilor and later working in museums.

The most successful teachers are not the drones but those that make the kids actually think about what they are learning.