Thursday, September 25, 2014

Teaching with Intention: Chapter Five

One of the things that Debbie discusses int his chapter is how to teach so out students can remember and understand what they've learned. How important! And as she says, how often do we read something and then are unable to recall what we've learned from it? This chapter apple not only to our teaching, but also our learning.

I LOVE this quote. And oh how true it is!! I was blessed as a child to grow up attending a Waldorf school, where the teachers were able to ignite our passion for learning. I loved school and remember far more from my elementary days that those from my public high school education. This is NOT to say that there are not teachers who are able to teach with enthusiasm and ignite passion in public schools. I taught in a public school and will eventually return to this job. I do however feel that it is an ever increasingly difficult task to do so. As this quote says, if we can engage our students and get them excited and passionate about what they are learning, they are far more to learn it for life than to simply memorize it for a test, something I became an expert at in order to survive high school.

Some of the ways to help students remember new information is to relate it to things they already know. To make those oh so important connections! Another way is to make the learning "visible." Make charts, draw pictures of what you are teaching; have them partner up and discuss what they have learned. Explaining it to another student, one who may have an entirely different view and understanding of the subject matter than a teacher, can be a powerful learning tool.

As challenging as it can be, it is so important to remember that at the end of the day we are not, or should not really be, teaching to the test. We are teaching these little people to be excited about learning, to look at the world as a fun and exciting place that is just waiting at their finger tips, not a place where everything is about a test. I strive to remember this when I am teaching, and will be the first to admit that it is extremely challenging, especially when your school is under pressure to preform well on state tests to raise their grade. All I can do is my best.

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