A short conversation with…Edna Sackson @whatedsaid
How long have you been teaching?
30 years. This is my first non-teaching year, in my new role as Teaching and Learning Coordinator and I plan to get back into classrooms as much as possible.
Has your educational philosophy changed since you began teaching?
Constantly. For one thing, I used to focus on teaching and now I focus on learning. Articulating our school’s beliefs about learning and then basing the learning experiences on those beliefs has meant a fundamental shift in practice. I often reflect on how my thinking has changed over time. (See this post for examples http://whatedsaid.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/10-ways-my-thinking-has-changed/)
Has Twitter played a role in your evolution as a teacher? If so, how?
Undoubtedly. I have learned a huge amount through interacting with educators around the world, sharing resources, engaging with new ideas, creating global collaborations… I’ve probably learned more via Twitter in the past couple of years than anywhere else over the preceding years.
What’s the best advice you have received as a teacher (or can give to a new teacher)?
I’d advise new (and old teachers) :
Focus more on learning than on teaching.
Don’t try to be the ‘boss of learning’ in your room, allow the learners to take ownership of their own learning.
Create a culture where learners feel safe to take risks and express their ideas.
Treat your students with respect and they will respect you in return.
Understand that ‘one size not fit all’ and every student learns in a different way.
Encourage your students to think!