Diary of a Student Teacher – Teaching me how to teach

teachSo along with this blog I have made the decision to also step back into the twittersphere.  What I am discovering is that both of these outlets are great not only for reflection but more directly for my own learning.

I knew this year was going to be all about the learning.  I was up for that, just a year and then I would be back into the workforce.  I thought the post-grad teaching year would contain: sitting in lectures taking notes, hours in the library, observing great Associate Teachers, a few assignments and of course walking the walk during placements.

My last tertiary experience was nothing like that, but it was Art school and it’s meant to be a bit ‘different’ isn’t it?  You were pretty much left to your own devices to make sure that what you were creating ‘sorta’ matched the assignment (bigger points if it didn’t but you could talk your way around it!).  As I look back I’m now realising that it was because I found myself in an institution that was student-centered, fostering a culture of self directed learning.  I thrived.  This was the type of environment that I want to cultivate once I become a teacher.

So why did I think this year would be different?

As the semester came to a close a week ago I felt a bit frustrated.  I just wanted someone to rip open my head, empty the contents of their years of teaching experience into mine and stitch me back up. I felt like screaming ‘JUST TEACH ME TO TEACH!’  And was projecting the way I remember high school to be – if you want to be successful then shut up and absorb.  I didn’t respond well to the teacher-directed chalk ‘n’ talk then but somehow stepping into the realm of education made me feel like that was the way it ‘had’ to be.

And then along came twitter.

Following the tweets from seasoned experts to useful links and articles is helping me to anchor the theory, with the ‘what if’ student teacher chatter to the ‘what is actually happening’ in schools here and around the world.  Most intriguingly I am seeing (hearing?) professionals ask questions, experiment, discuss and adapt their practice through self-directed inquiry.   It suddenly clicked, I get it.  I can’t have a one year makeover and become this awesome teacher –  It’s not how this thing works.  I’m on a self-directed journey which started 4 months ago and that’s what this profession is about.  It’s not going to be ‘just one year’ – it’s a commitment to being a life-long learner.

It took 4 months but I think I just learnt lesson one.

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