“Teaching” vs “Learning”

“Teaching” vs “Learning”

What’s The Difference?

Theodore Roethke once wrote:

“A teacher is One who carries on his education in public.”

Think about your best classes in school.  Were they the ones where you were just being talked to or lectured for the entire time?  I doubt it.  A good teacher doesn’t merely “teach” – a good teacher is one who is activated; is part of the class…  A facilitator – but also…  one of the students.

It is my belief that:  if one stops learning (which is essentially impossible) – then your Life is over.

There is not some magical point where one just “knows it all”…

(well, actually there is, but for most people, it takes thousands of lifetimes to get there, and that’s a different story 😉)

…and then one just “turns around” and teaches it all to everyone else…  And if you think that there is (as far as being a “teacher” is concerned) then I certainly don’t want to be in your class! 😀

There is a point, however – in any person’s development – where one realizes how far he or she has come with the help of those “ahead” of them.

Those who “reached a hand back” to help her – who took the lead, to guide him.  That’s what a teacher does…  at least, that is what they should do…  “Lend A Hand” – “Take The Lead”…  Help, guide, and explain what it is that they have seen that those “behind” them can’t yet see from their vantage point.

There are so many possible ways in which learning can happen.  And if there is not any learning happening from behind the eyes of you – the teacher – then I would bet that there is not much learning going on behind the eyes of your students either.

It is a “Two-Way Street”

Just because “teaching” is happening, that does not mean that “learning” is also happening.

There are many ways to explore the options available to a teacher in every situation in a classroom setting.  And since each classroom and each student is different, there are endless possibilities.

Please Don’t Limit Your Self…  Or Your Students

They are Your Teacher As Well

(this post was started back in 2009…  when I didn’t know anything about teaching…  and updated yesterday…  when I am still learning)


Have a Great Day!


A Good Idea For Conversation Starters

Conversation Starters To Get Them All Talking

In my teaching career, I have not had a lot of experience teaching children.  It thought it would be great.  Mostly because I kind of still am one.Conversation - theTOEFLblog

I love kids, but I didn’t do too well as a teacher of them…  I’m better as the crazy “uncle” (meaning the good friend of their dad.)

However, while skimming through an article sent to me by BusyTeacher, I noticed this little gem below:

(Copied from the original article)

Strange Conversation Starters

This activity is more like a warm-up, but could be done extensively as well.  This activity can be frontal and cooperative too.

Prepare some strange conversation starters and give one to a student who should start a conversation with it…

The more surprising the starter is the better.  Here are some examples:

  • Excuse me, but what’s your car doing in my pool?
  • Congratulations! I heard you hit the lottery jackpot!
  • Wow! It’s your baby? She’s very cute.

via Monster University, The Curious Alien, And 3 Other Brilliant Communicative Activities Your Students Will Love.

(end of the copy)

It was the first example that got my attention, as I often try to convince my students that I’m actually a bit crazy (something that is not too difficult) – so I would probably add a number of others, more similar to that.  And, as I teach adults, maybe the “Baby” example isn’t the best, but I can see how it would get a great laugh from children.

 “Sharing Is Caring”

At least that’s how the old saying goes (probably not a good idea with head-lice.)  But I thought I would pass on this little nugget of helpful classroom “fun-making” to anyone else who might find the suggestion above useful.

As the author says, “it can be done extensively as well…”

…I guess that means, you can use your imagination and do whatever the heck you want with it (always a welcome idea in my mind.)

I’m not really sure what the author means by saying, that it can be “frontal”.  And when the author says that it can be “cooperative”, I’m guessing that means the other person in the conversation gets to speak too…

I don’t know, I imagine that those are bits of “Teacher Jargon” (something I tend to shy away from) but I really like the idea so I’m happy to “share the love” and I hope that you will do the same.

Have An Excellent Day!