Friday, March 25, 2011

Are you learning?

I recently asked if what we were doing as teachers was best for creating lifelong learners. After reading my post JoAnn Jacobs @JoAnnJ68 tweeted this to me, “Brian, I like asking tchrs who want life-long learners where are they in their personal life-long process.” That sums it up. If we want our students to be lifelong learners, should we not be lifelong learners too? The answer is obvious. Moreover, if you are learning, are you demonstrating your learning to your students? It might make all the difference to demonstrate this to your students.

Photo courtesy of Mark Brannan


  1. I agree! Although sometimes I feel like all I keep learning is what I don't know LOL.


  2. I stand by the same principle - hence one of my favorite quotes in my prezi was "He who dares to teach should never cease to learn".
    I find it hard however to demonstrate my students what I learn. They are elementary second-language learners and what I am interested in (aside from education) goes well beyond their current ability to grasp - that would be neuroscience, moral psychology, evolutionary psychology, modern art.
    How would YOU do it? :)

  3. You are so right! We can't expect the students to grab hold of being life-long learners if we don't model that to them. They just see us as lacking credibility, and so they should.
    As teachers and learners, don't we have a responsibility to keep up to date in our own learning?
    Love the blog!
    Your philosophy is fantastic - I don't believe in rewards and punishment in my classroom either. Keep up the great work - and posts.
    (I'm going to share this with our staff) :-)

  4. @surreallyno I show them my blog. I read them a few of my blog posts. I tell them how I use to run a classroom based on rewards and punishments and why I do it the way I do now. That's how I demonstrate my learning to them. I teach grade 9 so they are a little older than your elementary students. Perhaps you could show them a new web 2.0 program that you learned how to use?

  5. I DID show them my web presence and both my professional and personal blog when we had our first inquiry into reading and writing (we were asking "WHY should we read and write? For WHOM?" etc). I wanted them to see what REAL readers and writers do and how learning happens so they could understand the necessity of these skills beyond the classroom walls. :)
    Thanks for the suggestion though - that is, doing it on a regular basis.

  6. Here's my second try at this comment.

    Modeled learning needs to include mistakes and how they are part of the learning process. At the beginning of this year, I discussed with my students that mistakes are only indicators--they tell me what we need to relearn or re-explore in order to better understand and apply later. Often work gets returned to students to reflect and redirect their focus so that they can see how these mistakes will help them move forward as self-guided learners.

    Choice is also an important part of learning. In life, in school, where ever. There are consequences for all of our choices. Working at an extremely low-income school, with students that have seen and been through more than I think I will ever experience, has opened my eyes. My students need to learn that ALL choices can/will affect their lives in and out of school. By understanding that, I think that a lot of students will find hope in their futures and pursue opportunities that they once thought were impossible.

  7. “Thank you for sharing such a great blog”

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