My mistake

The closer I edge towards the end of the PID Program and the more snippets of effective teaching knowledge I gain, the more I reflect on how truly terrible I must have been when I first started in the classroom. There I was, clumsily bashing my way through lessons and curricula I’m probably lucky to have a job at all.

During a discussion with a teaching instructor during the first course of the PIDP about teaching, with little in the way of formal teaching qualifications, my instructor said to me “Its ok John, I ruined students lives for years too”. That comment, albeit it very ‘tongue in cheek’ will stay with me forever. Now of course, I don’t really think I was a ‘terrible’ teacher but there was truth in it for certain.

I recently watched Diana Laufenbergs TED talk, How to Learn? From Mistakes which describes how times have changed from our Grandparents attending school, because this was the only way to learn; the knowledge was in the teachers head which would then be transferred to the students. Through to modern day offerings such as student centred learning or simply allowing the students freedom to make mistakes and “embracing failure”

I can vividly remember times where I have pushed my students to minimize mistakes in certain areas which in truth, I didn’t need too. The environments were controlled, and therefore, the exact place to make mistakes. I should have allowed them freedom to learn as opposed to directing them how I thought they should learn….hopefully somebody can empathize with me here?

This really continues on from my post on the ‘gift of failure’, Can students really ‘fail’ if they haven’t yet had the chance to learn? As Diana says, it really is about “experiential learning, embracing student voice and embracing failure… we know how to do this better’…


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