Myself and My Learning

Reflections on my progress through Myself and My learning: Being a Teacher

The highest priority exercise is focusing in on which self I am being, which self I am trying to maintain, and which selves I am trying to elicit from students. I have a theater background that helps enormously, but teaching is more like grounded improvisation and not so much a production. With these ideas in hand, I am seeking out the best way to grow and maintain the parent role that I see as my goal. My idea of *parent adult* is not quite as authoritarian as some might assume goes with parenting, and I see it primarily as a role of great respect for appropriate learning and teaching and behaving.

I am so averse to the standard model of education that I have long sought out alternative pathways for myself and for teaching and for students. Not because of poor teaching, but because of the industrial model of student learning and lack of respect for teacher autonomy. That said, I have an increased desire to gain the skills necessary to make the most of the standard teaching environment; if for no other reason as to redefine my approach to alternative education models.

The skillset I am most excited about is the questioning skill! The few introductory resources that were given and the comprehensive lecture pieces pointed me to so many resources that I am now practicing. I really am loving reviewing my own/ current style and seeing so many places I can improve and how I can practice improving.  I now spend a much more considered and consistent amount of time watching teaching videos from around the world. I have already adopted and try to work on active listening, but it has always been less effective with kids than with workplace scenarios. This difference, my own persona/self, and practicing engaging open question are now my first thoughts every day.

I have experience both stable and unstable dynamics (re the transactional analysis video), and I believe that my own experience as an adult outside of the teaching and learning environment has sensitized me to overly authoritarian behaviors. I think this is what leads me to shy away from demands other than demands that are the basis of both self and community respect. It is a goal.

As a final point, I am now spending dedicated time thinking about and writing out my own philosophy. I have spent many years immersed in the study of world religions and philosophies, but only now am I taking the time to address my personal philosophy and specifically my current philosophy of learning/ teaching. I fully agree that it will change, has changed, and must change to fit the person as they grow.

I felt that little needed direct document and research support in this exercise because my takeaway was a new found focus on self reflection specifically on teaching styles and learning styles. My focus is shaped, of course, by all the assigned readings and videos for this course. My inspiration at this point, and at this stage of my life, encompasses: