Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I Question, Therefore I Teach #YourEduStory

When I was a little boy, I was my mother's buddy. I asked her questions, and she told me stories. Whether or not the stories were true never mattered because they were always plausible. This experience taught me two things. (1) We can find answers if we try hard enough; and, (2) When you ask questions, you can learn anything.

My mother gave me an audience for what I had to say. I'm not sure that finding the right answers was significant. The fact that someone so important to me was there to listen and respond has allowed me to become a confident thinker who can come up with patterns in information when they are not explicit.

Why I Teach

I teach because I love people and learning. My ultimate goal is to pass on my confidence for thinking and seeking to my students. I do this by building relationships with my students so that they not only have someone to hear their ideas, but they have someone who cares about what they have to say.

Questions vs. Answers

It's more important to me that kids know which questions to ask and where to look for the answers than to be able to recall all the facts on a state-mandated test. Besides, Google has the answers.

Our kids need to know what to ask in order to know what to find. They need to know what to ask of what they found in order to recognize if it's what they are looking for. This way of teaching helps students critically analyze questions, documents, and problems. State test or not, they rock!

Why I Still Teach

Since I started teaching, my mission has changed. I've learned and practiced strategies that have changed why I teach, or at least why I continue to do it. It was once about my students getting good grades. Now, it's about reading critically and communicating ideas that they formulate into an argument. 

Lastly, I still teach because my students teach me.