a blog for teachers who follow the Master Teacher
As our conversation about learner ownership comes to a close, we have some questions for you. Let’s start with the ones below.
1. As we’ve talked, what changes have you initiated in order to encourage learner ownership?
2. What holds you back from making changes?
3. Could it be that you need to take ownership of your teaching? What would that look like?
4. How does the Master Teacher take ownership of His teaching?
In the following paragraphs, you’ll find some additional questions and tasks which are designed to encourage ownership of teaching. However, since ownership can overwhelm teachers too, first skim the tasks below, and then choose ONE to engage in toward change. (Links will take you to printable versions of charts.)
Being a lifelong learner is important for teachers. We need to stay ahead of our students in content knowledge and seek out new techniques and technological resources that appeal to each new generation of students. We need to engage in the lifelong process of constructing understandings of teaching based on our experiences and contexts. However, in the busyness of life, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. How could you take ownership of your teaching by seeking out opportunities for professional growth? The following task may help.
1. Read any of the posts here: professional development.
2. Choose one step you could take that would cultivate growth.
3. Make a plan for taking the step.
4. Tell some colleagues about your plan, or better yet, invite them to join you.
Sometimes limitations of the system, set up of our classes, or textbook cause us to feel powerless. As you consider the nuanced differences between the three tasks below, choose the one that would most help you take ownership and feel empowered.
Are you letting the system control you, or are you taking control by finding ways to work inside it?
In the chart below, list some ways that the system (or set up, textbook, etc.) limits you. Then, in the second column tell how you can take control and work inside that limitation (or possibly push the boundaries). An example is included in the first row.
Are you making excuses or making choices that solve problems and benefit your students?
Sometimes, we use limitations as an excuse not to do something because, for example, change is overwhelming. How could you take control of your excuses and make wise choices instead? In the chart below, list some of your excuses. Then, in the second column explain the choice you need to make (and act on) in order to take control. An example is included in the first row.
Are you timidly maintaining the status quo or bravely voicing questions and opinions that may bring about change to the system (or set up, textbook choice, etc.)?
The status quo is not always bad, and our judgements are at times better left unsaid. On the other hand, change is sometimes necessary, for example, in order to meet the needs of a new generation of students. When and how could you voice opinions that might instigate change? Would a wise question work better than a statement? In the chart below, list some venues where voicing your ideas would plant seeds of change. Then, in the second column, list words or questions you will use to encourage people to think beyond the status quo. An example is included in the first row.
Maybe you’ve lost your vision, or teaching has become a boring routine. Maybe your students feel like machines in your classes rather than human beings with heart and soul. In order to reignite your passion, try the task below.
1. Choose one of the following
2. In your teaching journal, reflect on your choice from #1, and then answer this question: How could I change my attitude, view of my students, or approach to teaching so that it becomes a calling I love?
3. Share your ideas with some colleagues and invite their input or feedback.