The best teachers are also students is a very true statement to make both in the sense of teachers who remain willing to learn and remain open to new ideas and also in the sense that our students are the best teachers about themselves. I mean it in both these senses.
During my career, I met many teachers who had simply stopped learning in the belief that they had enough experience that they no longer needed to try new ideas or techniques. I never understood this as each year the students change so how could you possibly know all you need to know. There were also many more teachers who continued to learn and experience throughout their teaching and also outside of the classroom. This meant they were able to relate to the students better as they kept up-to-date with technology, watched tv programmes aimed at the younger generation and also were happy to hear and learn about all aspects of culture.
As you have recently gone through your PGCE year and maybe also your degree, then you have so much knowledge to share of new guidelines and techniques to add to any school and department. Your teaching methods may therefore draw attention ad that is an amazing thing to share with your colleagues if there is something they have commented on.
Students are also our best teachers as they know themselves better than anyone so listen to them. Hear what they are saying about how they learn, how they are feeling and what motivates them. Notice who can take more challenge and those who require more support, who likes to be the class clown and be inquisitive about why, those who prefer to work alone than in a group and those who do all the work and behave but never seek your attention through making a fuss.
Remember to keep learning and looking for new techniques and ways to help yourself and students. It isn’t just the NQT year where that helps. These tips will be shared all through August to prepare NQTs for this coming year. They can also be found across social media on my accounts.
Book your place on one of the 30 minute workshop every Wednesday through August through http://www.beingthebestyoucanbe.org only for £5. Facebook: Being the Best You Can Be Facebook group: Mindfulness and Compassion for Teachers, Educators and School Staff Twitter: @alisonlaycock23