New Teaching Method Opens Minds
In only his third year of teaching when he began the Experienced Educators Program, David was concerned that what he had to offer his cluster would be of lesser caliber than what the more seasoned teachers had to share.
“I soon realized we were all looking for ways to make our teaching and connections with our students stronger. As long as I was willing to consider my practice critically, and was open to change both professionally and personally, I was right for the program.”
When David enrolled in his master’s program, he was in the midst of other life changes as well. He was about to be married, and he had just begun his first year teaching Spanish in the high school. He was also about to discover a philosophy that would change his way of teaching.
David’s student-centered approach grew through discussions with colleagues and teachers in his cluster, and courses that would move him to focus on student development and their involvement in their own learning. Applying the underlying principles of Critical Skills to his classroom not only shifted the focus of the work that students were doing, but also helped to redefine his role in the classroom.
“I now see myself as more of a coach in the classroom than a more traditional classroom teacher. I coach students through speaking and grammar exercises to help them achieve whatever it is that they set their minds to.”
“My students began sharing opinions about their readings and what they’d like to be doing in the class. They saw a direct correlation between what they were discussing in Spanish class and their personal lives. Their involvement in the process reinforced their learning.”