The new school year is just around the corner, and I’m finding myself a little more at ease (comfortable) – compared to last year, anyhow. Anxious? Certainly. But after successfully completing a full year teaching I have faith that it will all work out.
I would describe my process last August/September as one of aesthetics. I was concerned with how the classroom should look, how I should look, how lessons will look, how the year and the days that fill it will look. And while this concern with appearance wasn’t completely superficial (as I feel I was considering some pedagogically thoughtful aspects), this year’s already a little less concerned with keeping up appearances.
This year I’ve decided that my goal is to ask better questions. Not just of the students and for the students, but prior to that, ask better questions of myself and my practice.
What would happen if I did this…?
I wonder how the kids will react to…
What are the possibilities of using these materials over those?
What seating arrangement will promote the most dialogue? The least dialogue?
What do the children know about…? (Rather than focussing on what I need to teach.)
With this focus in mind – asking questions – I hope to become a better question asker, a better modeller for asking questions, and a more reflective learner (and teacher). Questions, not answers, make the focus learning, not teaching.
For related posts from last year: