Sunday, July 5, 2009

This I believe about teaching...

There's a few posts starting to pop up around the blogosphere from the group working towards their Digital Pedagogical Licence Advanced from the Smart Classrooms Framework. Today @jnxyz shared an extract from his belief statement. I really like how directly and simply he's framed what he's shared and really recommend going to have a read.

As I blogged about a couple of days ago I'm presenting my belief statement in a multimedia fashion (typical for Mobbsey really, above and beyond and putting far more pressure on myself than necessary...). It's coming together quite well, my big problem is going to be stopping. Because of the nature of how I want to present my information I've had to consider making navigation as simple as possible and as a result have split my belief statement into four sections:
  • This I believe about Knowledge (presented as a basic test video)
  • This I believe about Learning (presented as an interactive Wordle)
  • This I believe about Teaching
  • This I believe about ICTs in Learning and Teaching
I haven't finalised how I want to present the Teaching and ICT sections yet. I'd like to use photostory for one of them, with a voice over and the other I may keep as "traditional" text. I'll admit I'm pushing the boundaries, and honestly, it's motivated by more than just trying to do something "flashy". I've not seen many portfolios that are more than text based responses to the guiding questions, why not? Is it that we've not been brave enough? Is it that it's easier? Is it that we haven't thought about the other options? It's probably a little bit of all of those things, but I've long been a believer in Gardner's Multiple Intelligences and am a more recent convert to the ideas behind Universal Design for Learning and presenting a purely text based portfolio seems quite limiting from these points of view.

Unfortunately, at this stage I can't share my interactive Wordle with you or a completed belief statement draft, but I can share some thoughts around the next section on my list to tackle.

This I believe about teaching...
  1. Relationships are the key to any class's success
  2. Teach the students you have, not the students you wish you had
  3. It's best to not know everything about the topic
  4. It's best to ask questions (colleagues, students, others)
  5. You can't ask the students to do something you wouldn't at least try yourself
  6. Your job is more than content, you're a role model in social interactions and ideals too
  7. Firm and fair will win over more classes than iron fist or light and fluffy
  8. Helping them find their strengths prepares them for success
  9. Guiding them towards their own answers is more important than them getting it right the first time
  10. Make sure it's their work and that you're not doing it for them
  11. By the end of it your job is to be there when they need your input
  12. It's more about helping students to master skills than knowledge
  13. It's about helping them grow and broaden their awareness and understanding of the world around them
  14. It is about the students and not the teacher
I know my list isn't done yet. What would you add to it?


jnxyz said...

A great great summary of what being a teacher means! really goes to the heart of the attitudes teachers need to have, even beyond just pedagogy. Number 12 I'd like more clarification on - ie. skills - do you mean skills of accessing knowledge rather than just the knowledge itself.
Also - I love that you're actually using digital tools to present you belief statement about digital pedagogy - kind of makes sense when you think about it...

Linda Pilkington said...

I definitely agree with jnxyz that this is a great summary of what being a teacher means. I particularly love number 1 and 2 and believe that without these two, nothing else matters. To be a teacher is to show up everyday believing we we will make a difference for every child.