I love the first question!
Would I want to be a learner in my own classroom?
This question implies a deep sense of respect for our students. We are treating them as ourselves. We are acknowledging and treating them as:
- people who can learn.
- people who love to learn.
- people who, when given the chance, will choose to learn.
- accomplished learners.
- people who know things.
- people whose ideas are valuable.
- people whose needs and wants are respected and considered.
- people with interests and passions.
- people who are good at some things, but not so good at others.
- people who deserve, and are given, reasonable freedom, choice and agency.
- people who are teachers as well as learners.
- people who inspire others.
What a fantastic way to approach our students and inform our practice!
I ask myself three additional questions when I reflect on my practice.
Will this increase my students’ love of learning?
Will this empower my students to achieve their academic and creative potential?
Will this position them for greater thinking and creativity in the future?
My goal is to be able to answer, “Yes!” to each of these questions. Most of the times I can. Sometimes, though, I have to say “Hmmm … not so much.”
But, since I’m asking the questions, the answer “Hmmm … not so much.” isn’t so bad. In fact, maybe it’s actually good!
Now I have the opportunity to think, learn, ideate, iterate, and come up with new ideas. Ideas that will make me want to be a learner in my class, and that will increase my student’s love of learning, will empower them to achieve their potential, and will position them for greater thinking and creativity in the future!