Number Three – What Do You Believe About Learning? – The 30 Goals Challenge

Learning – my favourite topic. I love the mottos Learning can happen anywhere and A good teacher is also a good learner. But I will just put all my thoughts in order…

The Teacher As Learner

The best thing teachers can do for themselves and for their students as a consequence is keep on learning. About and through anything. What I have found  fundamental to my learning and motivating myself are:

  • Twitter. I never thought, when I first joined in 2009, what a great school that would be. I learn through other teachers who post links, from reading their blogs and from participating in a weekly chat English teachers have every Wednesday, ELTChat.
  • Workshops and Seminars. I am very fortunate for the reason that here in Switzerland we always have something going on. I know it can be costly, but it is definitely worth it. I always learn something and come back super-motivated, especially if the workshop or seminar was a good one!
  • Observing other teachers. You can learn a great deal from other educators, if you get the chance to sit in on their class. You can get great ideas, or even (and I hope this does not happen too often) learn from the mistakes they make.
A cornfield as your classroom? Yes! (Image taken from http://www.bloomingblossoms.com)

For students, I am a great believer that learning can happen anywhere and sometimes even when we have not planned it!

  • Hit the road, Jack! Last year I was working with my kiddos on plants and suddenly I thought: hey, why don’t we put on our jackets and go out? We have a cornfield nearby the school and the children got to see the plants, learn what a stalk is, where the corn they eat comes from and what happens after they cut off the corn. They still remember this lesson and keep asking when we can go outside again! Which reminds me, we should do it soon…
  • Go ahead and use the tech! Students can learn a great deal from technology. Start a wiki or blog with them. Skype with other classrooms (numerous educators on Twitter have done this and the results are great! The kids love it and learn about other classes all around the world). Explore new apps. Books are fantastic resources of learning, but not the only thing kids can learn from.
  • Try to visit libraries as frequently as you can. “My kids don’t read”, say some teachers. Have you provided them with the stimulus, if you have not got a library in class or the school? Let them roam through the aisles and you will see them picking up books on subjects they like (or a specific one if you are teaching a particular unit) and immediately taking them to tables…or even sitting on the floor! I love images like this.

Learning opportunities are great both for teachers and students. Classrooms become hubs of learning and knowledge!

And to close, I absolutely love what a great educator, David Deubelbeiss , says: When one teaches, two learn.

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9 thoughts on “Number Three – What Do You Believe About Learning? – The 30 Goals Challenge

  1. Great post! I wholeheartedly agree!
    As a newbie on Twitter I have recently discovered how enriching it is!
    It is awesome that you are able to take your students outisde the classroom as well, not only virtually but physically! A cornfield can be a very inspiring lesson – lovely!

    1. Hi Naomi!

      Thank you very much for your comment – you are one of the people I have connected to very recently and really enjoy your blog, your tweets and everything you do for your students. And discussing with you on #ELTChat!

      I am glad you liked thie idea – am probably going to try it out this Wednesday again, if the weather is good : )

      Thank you so much,
      Vicky

    1. Hi Tyson!

      Thank you so much – I also remember a time when one of my adult groups took me to a restaurant for lunch, and we had the lesson there. It was unbelievable, but they boosted their vocabulary on everything in the topic of eating and dining out, plus they were taking it to other topics as well – music, hobbies…it was great!

      Have a great time outside!

      Talk to you soon, Vicky

      1. Ok, I was fooled by the weather this week into believing spring was on its way. How wrong I was. Snow next week? Nope to outside classes again.

      2. Same here Tyson – our plans fell through as it has been raining all week and has been really cold too. So last Wednesday, we stayed inside with my kiddos, but we played a lot of games : )

  2. Vicky,

    You’ve made insightful points in your post. I’m also a fan of learning and it’s part of my life. I love learning and like you, I’ve learned a lot since I opened my Twitter account. I also learn a lot by reading other educators’ posts and by teaching. So I think I’ve chosen the right profession. And today I’ve started learning French.
    Hugs, sis!
    Marisa

    1. Hi sis!

      Thank you so much for your comment – and thank you for sharing the ways you learn! And French, wow : ) That is great.

      We all learn from your links and the fantastic wiki that you have created for your students and other teachers and thank you so much for that.

      Twitter is great to learn, isn’t it? And that is how I met you!

      Kindest regards, Vicky

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