Last week, after the first day of school, I spoke to a friend teaching grade one. She told me of a little one who exclaimed, “I love making these lowercase h’s!” I also walked into a grade six class at the end of the first day: they were putting away the iPads after using them for the first time.
I’ve taught grade one; I’ve taught grade six; I’ve taught everything in between. Besides the differences in curriculum, there are other differences too -the pacing of the lessons, the level of independence of the students, the amount of time spent planning versus marking. Regardless of the differences however, there is one key factor that unites all teaching: teaching is empowerment.
Why did the grade one student enjoy making h’s? Why did the grade six students have grins from ear to ear? They are learning skills empowering them to participate in the world around them. Whether it be forming the letter h, using technology or reading independently, our students want to be participants in our world – not merely spectators.
Perhaps the most effective teachers are those that empower others… with no strings attached.