Saying the same thing over and over again on this blog, is not too surprising I guess. After all, the words that appear here are most often a reflection of my thoughts, my passion and those issues that inspire me to blog in the first place.
I’ve said it many times before:
The job of a teacher is to inspire, to challenge, to excite their students to want to learn …..
If we can’t inspire the students in our classroom, we are simply not doing our job. If we are unable to challenge them with tasks that provoke them to think, reflect and grow, we are still not doing our job. And if we are unable to excite in our students a desire to learn, to ignite a passion and love of learning, then learning will just not happen.
Although I’ve blogged these thoughts often, this time the words are not just mine. Instead they are said, very passionately, in a powerful video released just a few days ago: This will revolutionize education.
Talking about the impact of technology on the learner, the words spoken in this video go against popular belief by stating that rather than being in the midst of an education revolution, we are instead in the midst of an evolution.
The words spoken are impassioned and exciting. The style is slick and captivating. But for me, the standout comments come toward the end of the video, when the important role of the teacher is highlighted.
The fundamental role of a teacher is not to deliver information, it is to guide the social process of learning …
The most important thing a teacher does is make every student feel like they are important, to make them feel accountable for doing the work of learning ……
And then the final impassioned lines of the video state the case very clearly:
….. what really matters is what happens inside the learner’s head and making a learner think seems best achieved in a social environment with other learners and a caring teacher.
It is indeed through the influence of the teacher who creates a nurturing and caring classroom environment, that our students are able to learn, grow and achieve.
We must never doubt the incredibly strong impact that teachers have on their students. Creating a caring, nurturing and safe learning space within the confines of each classroom is what it really is all about! It is the role of teachers
- to take time to get to know their students
- to provide individualized programs which nurture the skills of each learner
- to develop in each student an ‘I can’ attitude from which confidence can grow
- to ensure a safe and secure classroom where risk taking is encouraged
- to create opportunities in which students can be actively immersed in new learning
- to guide students’ learning by providing them with a scaffold they will be able to use throughout their life to pursue future learning
- to encourage students to be patient and to not expect that learning is instantaneous
- to foster an understanding of the value and benefits gained from collaboration
- to guard against students competing against each other
- to help students appreciate the value of learning by doing
When I first saw this video, I shared my find on Twitter re stating it’s words. It was clear from the number of RTs this tweet garnered that the interest of others was also stirred. Penny Bentley threw out a challenge to me when she asked:
With this question sitting in the back of my mind over the last few days, I realize that this is the kernel of the issue I constantly grapple with when I try to inspire within students and teachers alike a love of reading and a love of learning. Inspiration has many facets. It encompasses much. And it requires the guiding hand of a teacher to ensure that it happens.
What does inspiration involve and aim to achieve in our classes?
- to awaken the mind of the learner
- to arouse focused attention
- to fill students with enthusiasm
- to excite passionate interest
- to motivate students to go one step further than they may do otherwise
- to initiate activities in which students can learn with and from each other
- to enable the student to also be the teacher
- to stir imagination
- to encourage risk taking
- to create excitement
- to arouse and enthuse involvement and participation
- to light an insatiable spark within the heart and soul of the learner
- to stimulate learners to be lifelong learners!
I will forever be grateful to my mentor Judith Way, who, more than four years ago, lit that spark within me which makes me constantly reach out for the new, explore the unknown, savour my discoveries and be driven to share all that I’ve learned, discovered and explored with others.
Read more about this inspirational teacher and mentor in one of my earlier posts: An interview with Judith Way – 2010 VicPLN Program Mentor. She blogs at The Way Forward and tweets often as @judithway
Take a few minutes to watch. The words and visuals of this video may also resonate with you for some time!