1. I used to think it was about the teaching. Now I think it’s all about the learning.
2. I used to think my students learned best sitting facing the front of the classroom. Now I think they need to sit in groups, in order to collaborate and construct meaning together.
3. I used to think the classroom needed to be quiet and I needed to be in control. Now I think noisy lessons where the kids are engaged often reflect learning at its most vibrant.
4. I used to think silence had to be filled by repeating the question or asking a different question. Now I think silence means every student has enough time to think.
5. I used to think differentiation meant setting different tasks for different abilities. Now I think digital tools often provide natural differentiation for different levels, abilities and interests.
6. I used to think every student had to put up his hand before he spoke and all conversation had to go through me. Now I think the best discussions are ones where the kids are responding to each other and I’m out of the picture.
7. I used to think that praising kids was necessary positive reinforcement. Now I think that feedback needs to be constructive and specific and praise on its own isn’t helpful.
8. I used to think exercise books had to be neat, with a margin drawn at the side. Now I think exercise books are for thinking, reflecting, scribbling ideas and working things out, so it doesn’t matter what they look like.
9. I used to think finished work should be hung on the wall so the class could see it. Now I think the best place for samples of learning is on the class blog or wiki where an authentic audience can read/listen and comment.
10. I used to think that assessment was to find out whether students had mastered a topic or a skill, and took the form of tests for which I gave grades. Now I think assessment should inform teaching /learning and can occur through any learning experience, including listening to what students say.
11. I used to think PD was through conferences and workshops. Now I think some of my best professional learning has been through Twitter and blogs.
12. I used to think the teacher was the teacher and the students were the learners. Now I think we’re all part of a community of learners… Oops, there are 12 ;)
Please add your thinking to the list…
Series of posts on ’10 Ways …’ #4 10 ways to encourage students to take responsibility for their learning 10 ways to foster a love of learning 10 ways to create a culture of thinking