Monday, 31 October 2016

T.E.A.C.H... my top five words...

Inspired and encouraged by Gillian Judson (@perfinker on twitter) I have thought about what my "teaching top 5" are. (see Gillians post here)

So basically using the word TEACH to inspire you to find words...

Of course I am sort of moving away from the word teach and moving to the word facilitate... as I am supporting the children's learning - but it could be fun to see if I could re-define teach for myself....

T - time
E - ears
A - awareness
C - co-researcher
H - hundred


So why these words?

TIME
For me this is a word that is so essential for learning... it takes time... it is always a process, and often society is in such a hurry for children to meet development milestones that they forget to trust the ability of the child... that the child is competent if given the time to try, to play, to explore, to fail and try again.

a post about TIME... but also reflecting on boredom - this seems relevant right now as i am seeing memes about children needing to be bored going round FB again... I really don't believe that children should be BORED... but maybe we as adults should not be afraid of children expressing this and letting the children find their own creativity to fill their time... often we do not give children enough TIME to learn how to fill it themselves, and have become dependant on adults...?!


EARS
Listening of course... if there had been an L in the word teach then it would have been listening... but I had to improvise and utilise the E - I mean we need to get creative as educators don't we?
There are many many blogposts to explore here about listening... the importance of us as adults to listen to the children, but also supporting the children to learn how to be good listeners to each other.
Philosophy dialogues with my preschoolers have been a great way to support listening... respectful listening, where the children learn to listen to understand rather than listen to answer... something we adults need to practice too...

here is a link to 50 posts I have written connected to listening

AWARENESS
of course as teachers we need to be aware of what is happening with the children, with the third teacher... of all the interactions going on - with each other, with the materials... so that we are better able to meet the children's learning and development needs... not just as individuals but also as a group. We live, play and work as a community... we need each other... so we also need to learn to be aware of each other's needs. Not just as an educator being aware of the needs of the children... but also the children being aware of each other's needs.

its not supposed to be easy - this is a recent post sharing how i strive to support the children to be a community of learners... it is not always the easiest route to take... meeting the needs of the individuals by doing individual art would be so much easier... but then they do not get the TIME or opportunity to practice collaboration, conflict resolution etc etc - they do not get the chance to become aware of how their actions can affect others, or how their reactions can affect others... it is a process that requires time and support.

CO-RESEARCHER
C was the hardest one to choose... there is creativity, critical thinking, competent child, community of learners, curiosity, communication, collaboration... in the end I chose co-researcher because it defines me as an educator not as a know all adult filling the child with information... but me as a person learning about learning... learning about the children as individuals and as a group, learning about my own capabilities...
I learn and find out together with the children... younger people also learning about learning, learning about the world, about each other, themselves, learning to trust me...
We research the world together...

this is a link to a post where I write that I am Malaguzzi inspired rather than Reggio inspired - it mentions about being a co-researcher... of learning WITH the children... not filling them with information.

HUNDRED
It had to be... didn't it... I did consider humour... as without joy there is no learning... but then felt that joyful learning could be one of the hundred...
The many different ways I need to listen to the children, to support there many different ways of learning, their many different ways of communicating their ideas...

This post explains more about the hundred languages and the fact that there then must be a hundred ways to listen...


So, there you have it... my T.E.A.C.H...
what would be your T.E.A.C.H. top five words?

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