The New Zealand curriculum states as one of its visions that we want our students to be lifelong learners. What about our teachers? Are we modeling ourselves as lifelong learners?
I’ve been speaking to a number of my colleagues and the answer for many is yes. Take my one colleague who, when faced by a year 13 class who seemed reluctant to prepare for their speech, prepared her own speech. She researched her topic and applied the speech techniques. And so the teacher was the first to present her speech, modeling what she expected from her students. Another colleague has joined a band and has undertaken to learn a new instrument. He is, how should I put it, not a spring chicken. (He’s only a few years my senior, but then again, I’m no spring chicken either.) And then of course we have a number of staff doing post graduate papers. I’m happy to say I’ve signed up to do MindLab, based on the recommendation from my colleagues.
As an English teacher I find that, prior to introducing formal writing, I model what I expect from my students by writing an article. I submit my work to Fractus Learning which is an educational blog. Once it has been published, I share it with my students. Besides the idea of modeling what I expect from them, more often than not the subject of my article is my students. So it’s good for them to read about my reflections on what they’ve done and what I’ve learnt from them.
So this is a link to my article. My hope is that, through sharing this sort of article with my students, they will see that I am still reflecting on my practice and learning. And for some at least, instill a love of lifelong learning in them.