Welcome to my Professional Learning blog.
My name is Matt Nicoll and I am a high school teacher in New Zealand, interested in improving the classroom experience for my students. I am open to trialing new approaches and hope to use this blog to reflect on my ideas and practices.

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Growth Industry

I work in the most important growth industry in the world - education. And this industry relies upon building (growing) positive and trusting relationships if it is going to have successful outcomes for all involved.

Let Their Minds Grow

What does a good teacher do? A lot, of course. Ultimately though, surely a good teacher is there to empower students to learn more knowledge and more skills that they can apply to:
  • the subject
  • their lives in general

Giving clear learning outcomes and learning objectives are vital. Equally as vital are things such as: encouraging students to ask questions which matter to them; how to find things out for themselves; and how to listen to other people's points of view, especially when trying to make an informed decision.

Let Their Confidence Grow

A really good teacher doesn't necessarily have to be a really good academic. In fact, my best teachers gave me the confidence to express myself and reduced my inherent fear of being wrong, regardless of their academic credentials. Even now, as an adult who loves to learn, I am becoming more and more prepared to take risks and to allow myself (and my work) to be criticised. It is only because of others, who I personally rate as excellent teachers/educators, that I have this confidence. How selfish would it be if I did not use these ideas to help my own students...?

Let Their Relationships Grow

As if subject content wasn't enough, the effective teacher also has to make sure students are good citizens. A really good teacher will encourage students to reflect on the impact upon others of their actions (or global decisions). Being a protagonist works for me, but every teacher is different...and thank goodness for that!

Let Them Grow

What, teachers do even more?! We are also coaches, supporters, mentors, directors...the list goes on (and on, and on). We are in the most important growth industry around. We are harvesting the future. So surely it is our responsibility to keep up with all the best ways to empower our students to grow and to find their own unique niche and skills set. I use technology (and terrible puns and jokes). And surely it is the responsibility of every country's government to help us do this for every student... 

No comments:

Post a Comment