Number Three – Ask A Learner – The 30 Goals Challenge 2012

Shelly Sanchez-Terrell (Image taken from Shelly's blog)

Shelly Sanchez-Terrell, an educator who has inspired literally thousands of people with her 30 Goals Challenges (and with her blog, tweets and Facebook page and the numerous talks she gives around the world) is coming back this year, with the 30 Goals Challenge for 2012 – Dare to Believe!

I would like to start doing them again this year – join in and inspire us all with your videos, posts and experiences.

I am going to start with Number Three – Ask A Learner! You can also read Shelly’s post and watch her video on Goal Number Three.

As a great number of educators out there, I have always enjoyed being a learner. Be it a language, skill or so. In class, regardless of the age of the students I teach, I share with them what helps me learn. I like to point out what works for me, so that they can look inside them and see what works for them. When students and particularly kids see their teacher as a learner, that gives them extra motivation.

Especially with younger students we try to discover what helps them learn and we remember that everyone works and learns in a different way. I have heard teachers get annoyed because some children lip-read or whisper when they read. Not all of them read silently.

I remember a student of mine who loved visual cues – we used that to his advantage and he learned so much. Others are audio-learners, others kinaesthetic, others learn better taking down notes…a diversity that makes learning such a great experience!

Asking the learners also brings to my mind asking for their feedback about their learning in general – if they like what we do in class, what more they want and how we educators can help them. Surely we are there and can see what they need, where they are doing well and where they need improvement, what they like and what not – but giving them ownership of their learning and showing them that we care about and respect their opinions and presence in our classes, gives them motivation for their learning.

7 thoughts on “Number Three – Ask A Learner – The 30 Goals Challenge 2012

  1. Hear, hear! I try to do these things, too, and will strive to keep doing them in 2012. 🙂 In particular, I find that encouraging learners to try out and reflect on new ways of learning, remembering and using language can be really enlightening for them and for me. And of course it follows that it’s a good idea to get learners to share these ideas with each other – spread the joy!

    1. Hi Laura!

      Thanks so much for the comment and sharing your reflections from your class. So great that the 30 goals inspire us all, share and do great things all together!

      All the best,

  2. It’s always important to keep in mind the idea of multiple intelligences, but it’s not always easy to differentiate learning instruction to all in short spans of classes. I try to vary what’s in my classes so that something appeals to someone and never criticise a learner for learning in their way, unless it’s fundamentally disruptive to others learning. Still, I’m not sure most people even know how they learn best.

    1. Hi Tyson!

      Thanks so much for your insight – the time issue is so important. Some classes are very short and you are right, the time allotted does not make things easy for us to differentiate. However, variety is good to have in every lesson. You’re also spot-on when you mention that some people are not sure about how they learn. We can help them in this as well.

      Thanks for your insightful comments as always!

  3. I have found that the time to really listen to the learner is when he/ she blurts out regarding his/her individual learning style without me eliciting it. I agree with Tyson that often students don’t know. But suddenly, during individual work time they sometimes say things like “you know it always helps me when I highlight the first and last line of every paragraph before reading” or “please let me copy out these words again before I continue to the worksheet, I need that”.
    I take special note for such things! I also ask their permission to tell other students about their advice so that they can see if it works for them.

    Can’t join you this year with the 30 goals, Vicky! The competition is keeping me too busy!


    1. Hi Naomi!

      Thank you so much for your comment and sharing images from your class! I absolutely love how you keep your eyes and ears open for your students’ comments and observations as to what helps them learn – that is wonderful and so helpful for your students.

      I wish you very good luck with the competition – fingers crossed and best whoop wishes!

      Say hello to your wonderful students!

      All the best,

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