What is important to you in Lifelong Learning Teacher Education?

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What really excites you about Lifelong Learning Teacher Education?

What really frustrates and annoys you?

Just what is important to you as a teacher educator?

I’m trying to start a discussion and promote participation … there are good numbers of people following and viewing this blog, so why not make a post, or make a comment as well as reading those from others? This post is trying to start a conversation, and is a nice simple, personal perspective.

My own answers are:

I’ve always found the whole process of being a teacher, working to help people learn, to be one of the best experiences in the world. Not always worthwhile, often very difficult, but just brilliant when you help someone to develop and grow as a person / professional / member of the community (or even all three!). Not quite as good as seeing your own children do good or nice things, but very close to it. The feel good factor for you as you see confidence, capability and engagement build in your pupils, students, trainees and others is almost unbeatable. Top of the list then is being a teacher, and particularly a teacher of teachers!

Secondly, the fact that the work, particularly in the LL sector is complicated, ever changing and often dominated by things we wouldn’t choose to do. It’s also of course one of the most frustrating things, but I find the ongoing challenge, variety and need to problem solve offers a professional working experience which is unlikely to be boring for long, and which will keep your mind, to some degree your body and probably all of your other senses alive and engaged at all times. This does of course have down sides, including 30 hours of work to fit into every 24 hour day; exhaustion; feeling isolated … !!! but for me, if I can solve a reasonable amount of the problems, help a few people learn a few things every week, and not wake up too often at three am, I’d still choose it on balance above any other work.

Thirdly I actually like learning myself, and there are always many (probably too many) things to learn all the time. Some days you’ll come across a brilliant piece of writing (even occasionally in an academic journal!), another day a great teaching idea, and another day some technology which actually works!!

Fourthly, the community of LL Teacher Educators (yes, I do think there is one!) is a really nice, committed and passionate group of people!

So these are some of the things which are really important to me, and I’ve hinted at the frustrations.

Overall I don’t just (still) believe we can change the world, I know we can!! Maybe only a fraction, and maybe only for one person, but that still makes it worth it.

So what about you?

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One thought on “What is important to you in Lifelong Learning Teacher Education?

  1. I have come to believe that it’s rather impossible to be an effective teacher if you are not engaged in learning yourself…around classroom practices for sure, but also first-hand learning about the same types of subjects that students are engaged in (largely inspired by the work of David and Frances Hawkins). I think many of us who teach forget what it’s like to really engage. We encourage children to build towers of blocks, but have not actually built our own towers since childhood. When we personally know the affordances, challenges, and possibilities contained within simple wooden blocks, then we have vital knowledge necessary to provoke and generate new possibilities for and with our students. This holds true for math, science, reading and writing, arts, social studies, etc. It’s important, but also FUN to learn in this way!

    As a teacher educator, largely impacted by dialogue with colleagues in the Boulder Journey School Teacher Education Program, I try to hold the same values for myself now as I did when I was a classroom teacher. I try to engage in the same types of dialogue and debate as my students, in order to discover new lines of thinking. I also try to design courses and workshops that provoke teachers to engage in the learning of their students.

    I use the word “try” because it’s not easy. It takes constant self-reminders to maintain a level of confidence in my expertise, while at the same time cultivating a genuine openness to seeing things in new ways.

    I recently engaged in a new learning challenge, and one that is harder than any I’ve previously undertaken. I’m trying to learn computer programming, in order to discover new possibilities for teaching and learning in a digital age, and I hope to apply this learning to my work with teachers. I won’t take up any more space, but this just so happens to be a topic that is so exciting to me…thanks for asking these questions, and writing this blog!

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