Friday, January 13, 2012

Still Learning

I enjoy blogging. I enjoy sharing my thoughts and reflecting on my ideas about teaching. I especially enjoy connecting with others throughout the world - and learning so much from others. As I sat here thinking about posting today...wondering exactly what I should ponder on...I decided to look back through the blog archive, back toward the beginning of my blogging journey.

In a post from May 2009, I found this statement--
"I cannot just depend on the familiar. When I do that, my teaching becomes rote and stale. I need to seek challenges and different ways to communicate Bible truths. And choose new ways to involve and engage boys and girls in learning."

I think this sums up my hopes and philosophy for this blog and for my teaching. I don't want to become stale and rote. I want to learn more about myself and about teaching. I want the foundation (brick by brick) to become strong and secure. And now I'm not talking about kids' foundations but my own. I realize that I'm still forming my ideas and concepts. Some things that I felt were very important have become less so. Some ideas that I would have never thought of in the past are now becoming more and more a part of my practice. 

Being open to something new is what I encourage in my kids. It's also something I want to encourage in myself. That way I know that I'm still learning, still growing, still adding bricks to my teaching foundation. 

And I've learned to allow different perspectives to have room in my broader teaching vision. I have teaching friends that would never paint at the easel every week or offer a glue gun to a 5-year-old. That's fine. They are discovering their own teaching journeys. I know some teachers that pile on the glitter. It's great if they want to use it; I just choose other ways to make messes. I read or talk with teachers who have differing opinions on using food in the classroom or making crafts (more product-oriented art experiences). I certainly have my own opinions about these matters (especially glitter). But I keep my mind open to learning from others. Even if I don't do things in the same way, I can still learn from the overall process. After all, I can grow as a teacher even if I don't do the exact same things. 

My one word this year is choose...and this is a place to do that. So I choose to approach teaching like I encourage my kids to approach learning. Open to new experiences. Trying out ideas. Experimenting as I go. And looking to others for inspiration. 

Thanks for hearing/reading my ramble. I welcome your thoughts (or links to your thoughts) below. I promise to hear/read your words. After all, how can I keep learning if I don't choose to listen?


  1. I too am astounded at how far I've come and how much I've learned and changed my practice in just a few years. When you stop learning, you die- that's my view of life- and who wants to be a zombie, stomping around the school corridors without learning anything new from what's before you? You can't grow like that.

    I've probably shared this quote before, but it's worth another run:

    "There are two sorts of teachers. One has 20 years' experience, the other has 1 year's experience 20 times."

    Be the first sort.

  2. Annie, I love that quote. And I'm striving to be the first sort. Although I sometimes feel myself slipping toward the second one.

  3. How true Scott! No matter where each of us are in our careers we must strive to continue to learn from ourselves, others within the profession, and most of all the children who have so much to teach us.

  4. I always find your insights so profound, Scott. Sometimes, it's like you're speaking directly to me.

    "I choose to approach teaching like I encourage my kids to approach learning. Open to new experiences. Trying out ideas. Experimenting as I go. And looking to others for inspiration."

    I love these words~ and I'm going to take them to heart. Thanks, Scott!