Teachers Don’t Know It All

photo    Over the last fews days I have been the proudest mother on the planet. Both my daughters, aged 10 and 8,  sang and performed as part of Opera Australia’s “The Magic Flute”. At that age I was more concerned about whether I had a handball square at “little lunch” time or whether I had the latest Holly Hobby colouring pencils and accessories, which were the craze when I was their age. Would I have sung on stage with Opera Australia and the answer would be a clear no. But in fairness to my own parents the opportunities were quite limited for me as I was growing up for many reasons. And overall I would never have had the singing voice to sing anyway.

But the point of this post is to have educators be more open to different learning spaces and arenas to learn within. Over the last week my children have gained so much knowledge about theatre, singing, independence, the arts, teamwork, self discipline, timing, personal responsibilities, movement and the list goes on. How does a teacher program all these things in a couple of days within classroom walls and be assured that the students were attaining them. If I had tried to teach my children what they had gained recently I can be sure that it wouldn’t have been half as appealing as it was to be taught but professionals in the field.

So why is it that we teachers feel that they need to know everything to be able to teach our students. Perhaps teaching should include the term facilitator of learning or learning planner and leave the learning to the “professionals”. Inviting people from within our communities should be encouraged. The curriculum should be allowed to be more fluid. It fact it should be encouraged to be more fluid. Instead we contain our curriculum within the confinements of a classroom and expect ourselves, teachers,  to be the experts at everything.

I also ask teachers to be mindful that these students, outside the classroom arena, are engaged in incredible learning experiences and to acknowledge the learning that is happening in these areas without the usual classroom teacher involved.

It doesn’t make sense  to me anymore that we limit our students learning to one individual. Please, I ask you to consider, extending the walls of the classroom to include more opportunities and more people in the learning process…how much more exciting would it be!



Filed under Learning Environment, Learning Spaces

2 responses to “Teachers Don’t Know It All

  1. Rita,
    As a teacher I really have never felt the need to be the ‘font of all knowledge’ in my classroom. I always encouraged my students to want to go forth and research for themselves. I actively tell my students that sometimes I will tell them something that they may not agree with and that its ok to disagree with your teacher. It’s even ok to correct a teacher if you think you might know more about a certain topic. My primary school teacher actively encouraged me to do this when I was at school and it have given me the drive to be a lifelong learner. It also means that I don’t immediately believe everything I hear. I hope that my students have continued to develop in this the way that I have and that I have lived up to the example I was given.

    • fin

      Hi Steve,
      your comment is exactly what we hope will happen in classrooms. This challenging and encouraging environment for our students. And the “domino generational effect” that occurs, as shown by your teacher, is wonderful. There are still some who can’t see the benefits of extending the classroom boundaries. They may “talk the talk” but not necessarily “walk the walk” and that’s what we want to see happen. For teachers to not be frightened to push the boundaries just because it isn’t written somewhere in a curriculum. Your post expresses the strong “lifelong learners” that can develop from this approach you are explaining comes from their teachers.

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