Due to the fact I am not teaching full time I have more time than I otherwise would to think about teaching. The relationship between learning and teaching as well as teacher and student is fascinating.
So my latest read, Creative Schools By Ken Robinson is right up my alley. Ken Robinson, for you who don’t know is a Professor who has been looking at this relationship on and off for 40 years. He has a PHD and has the most watched TED talk ever.
(Watch that here.) For the last eight years or so he has been talking and writing about why the current trends in education are way off the mark and not doing our children any favours. Such things as high pressure standardized testing, centralized curriculums which are narrow and restrictive. By being these things a large numbers of students are being turned off and belittled by an education system that so narrowly defines success. In this book he continues the process of explaining how he believes education can be improved and made more inclusive. One of the things that jumped out at me was the following;
The fundamental purpose of education is to help students learn.
He goes on to say
At the heart of education is the relationship between the student and the teacher, everything else depends on how productive and successful this relationship is.
He is of course right. Effective teaching or coaching is all about good relationships. Success is impossible without it. This got me to thinking about what good relationships look like and how we can effectively foster them with our students. More about this later. In the meantime I highly recommend this book whether you are a teacher or a parent.