What I’d want my teacher to know about me

Scribble personAllanah King, in her blog Life is not a race to be first finished, shared an idea. It’s a really simple idea, and also a really powerful one – and you’d be amazed at how such a simple idea can be overlooked by teachers in the heady rush of the start of a new school year. It is this: ask each student to list five things that their new teacher needs to know about them.

If I was a student, I would write:

  1. I like to fidget and doodle to help me concentrate
  2. Pictures, diagrams and visual representations of ideas work much better for me than a bunch of text.
  3. I love being involved in questions that I can apply to my own life and work.
  4. Let me be creative – if I can switch the way I show what I know around, and if there’s room to do something a bit differently, that’s great.
  5. I’m a geek – let me stay in the digital world while I learn.

And I bet I’m not alone.

For any teacher, knowing their learners can be formidable – but if we don’t know who they are, what they bring, what lights their lamps or shuts them down, how can we help them to shine?

8 thoughts on “What I’d want my teacher to know about me

  1. Hmmm, I think my list would look like this:
    1. If I look half asleep, fiddle and talk or even rock on my chair, I am totally focused and into what you are saying.
    2. When I am bored I will loud and disruptive, in fact, I think the term is “class clown”… Please don’t let me get bored.
    3. When I am swept up by your passion about a topic or style of learning, you will totally own me!
    4. My favourite questions are ‘why’ and ‘how’. Please answer them. Even when you want to kill me.
    5. I love to learn. I am tactile, visual and a high level communicator. I collaborate and lead naturally. Please be the wind beneath my wings not the clipper of them.

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  2. It’s funny – I was just last night putting the finishing touches on one of my form student’s “operating manual” which we created together and that outlines his learning and personal preferences. He’s giving one to each of his teachers. I’ll let you know how this project goes – I think you’re onto a good thing here!

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    1. Love the idea of an ‘operating manual’, Chris – anything that supports understanding and stops teachers operating on auto-pilot or mis-judging someone must surely be an important part of the kete. (Can’t take credit for the idea, though, it’s all Allanah King’s good work:-))

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  3. Thank you for joining the meme and sharing some of the ways you like to learn. It is an eye opener as people articulate some of the ways that they like to learn- no one has said they like to be told what to learn and to sit in rows listening to other people talk.

    The challenge then I think is to translate our insights into a classroom situation.

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  4. You’re welcome, Allanah. A session with Christina (damn you, auto-correct!) Christian Long this morning had us discussing when we at our most happy as learners, and where we see learning in the future…articulating the values as a starting point is vital. And while sometimes there may be rows, while at other times, there may be me on my own in a beanbag (not ‘either/or’ but ‘and..and’), if the context is meaningful and has real impact, we may be on to something:-)

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