The world of a child-(meaning and relevance)

31 03 2009

I was watching my 11 month girl crawl this morning. Eventually she found herself inside the pantry of our kitchen. I decided to follow her in and sit down inside with her.

For a moment my perception had changed. I was living the beautiful moment of an inquisitive new learner.

Together we explored potato cupboards, recycling bins, plasic bags and torches. My little one had to taste everything just to get to know the item a little more. I supervised and made sure she didn’t go into areas she shouldn’t and showed her a few tricks like how to turn on the torch.

What a beautiful teaching moment!!

It was this experience which made me think of how complicated I have made my teaching practice over the years. It made me ask the question….just how much of my classroom is real or relevant?

Over the years, some how, I have created inefficient  layers over what was once an exciting and creative craft.

Yes I have also gained some wisdom and experience but lets face it, many of us  put on some unnecessary weight in the midlife of our teaching.

Time to shed some weight!!

Yes ,we are all called to be accountable.

Yes,we are all called deliver government agendas,church teachings, head office agendas and school policies.

But it is our priority and responsibility to keep the classroom real and meaningful.

John Coppola




3 responses

1 04 2009
Greg Whitby

John, we need to constantly address the perception of overload by reflecting on what is really important in the work of the school and what things actually make a difference to the learner (i.e acts of discovery as illustrated by your 11 month old daughter). I think every staffroom discussion should reflect on the things that are important to students and what can be left out altogether or can be done differently to free up energy, space and time in a crowded curriculum.

24 04 2009
nancy russo

Awe and wonderment. I wonder about how much information which use to be teacher only information that children really need to be given or need to be a part of. I know we talk about the independent learner but maybe we need to look at teachers as learners as well.

We facilitate and at times direct and extend or could add excitement to the learning process. I once asked a brilliant teacher of children with multiple severe disabilities ( now retired) what kept her in the field and kept her so excited.
Her response was that the ultimate teaching is to teach some one to have a thought. That is teaching in its purist form.

12 09 2009

It’s refreshing to read comments about real experiences. I am a teacher and over the years have always felt that my best ‘teaching moments’ have been when I have allowed myself to stray and be creative. I have just completed my first Podcast with the children. It was a real challenge but we did it. Keeping up with technology is important but it is the creativity and interaction that is important.

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