Why do teachers teach? Is it to pass on their knowledge to the children? Is it to build up the aspirations of the children so that they know that there is a future for them? Or is it as every non-educational setting employee says? Holidays!
It is easy to lose touch with what children think about things that are not directly linked to the lesson we are teaching. Schools are such busy places, there is always something happening. Schools now are under so much pressure, it is awful to say that it often feels like we are cramming as much knowledge as possible into the heads of the children. Maybe then that is why we can actually lose focus on what children are thinking when we have so much on our own minds.
Anyway, enough philosophy for now. Recently we had a visit from Caitlin Dooley from Georgia in the US. As part of her research she spoke to some of the digital leaders at our school (more about them in a future blog). She asked them a brilliant question which hadn’t even crossed my mind.
Our digital leader program is set up to ensure that they take a full part in the computing curriculum of our school. As part of this we have had digital leaders leading and supporting lessons in KS1. The question she asked was along the lines of what they needed to do when they were teaching their younger peers. The children said that preparation was very important so that they know what they have to do. Probably the key aspect of teaching! I was interested to hear that they said that they used behaviour techniques they had learnt by watching the teachers in our school teach. One of the things they say the most is that trying to keep their attention is a challenge! KS2 all the way for me! Seems that these 9 and 10 year olds have more of an understanding than those at the top table!
But seriously, it amazed me. These children with no experience of being teachers themselves made me realise even more about our responsibilities as role models. Children must be watching every step we make and are taking the good points from us as teachers. This can only be good for their futures! This also means that children are not only learning academically but socially too! Postive news! The mindset of these children is quite staggering and part of this program has certainly enhanced their own ambitions (they always want to visit the University again!)
Next time I’m going to blog about our digital leader’s program, how we implemented it and the success that has come with it! Until next time!