Teacher or Student?

Lately I have been thinking about what I’m doing. I’m a teacher. I teach students. I graduated college in 2004, and since then I’ve been a teacher. Not all the way through though. I took a year off and worked at various places. I had to learn what I was doing at those places to work there. However, I’m a teacher, so I left that and went back into teaching. I’m a teacher.

This year I’m teaching at a school that uses Project-Based Learning (PBL) to teach. I did not know that much about PBL before this year, but I am learning it. Wait though, I’m learning? YES! I am a student WHILE I am a teacher. In fact, I am facilitating the French class at the school. Do I know French? Un peu (A little). However, I am learning the language right along with the students.  Is this the way a teacher should be? Why not? If you do not know something, why stand at the front of the room and pretend that you do? Think about it. If you do stand there and try to pretend to know everything, kids have the internet and would love to prove you wrong.

I ran across a couple of quotes today about learning and teaching:

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” — Jim Rohn

“Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.” — John Cotton Dana

So my belief is, instead of teaching students what I know and what they should know, I am not going to stop there. I am going to teach students to be life-long learners. No matter what I teach them, it will not be everything that they need to know. They will go find a job that will more than likely have a training period. Have you ever had a job that you did not have to train to do?

Students need to be told and shown that they will not know everything. There will not be a day that they will just go, well, I know what I am doing all the time. I am not a parent, but I’m sure that parents out there have had a learning period. In fact, I can prove that parents are always learning how to raise their children.

I guess what I am getting at is that I am not here to tell students everything, I’m here to help them grow and know how to find answers themselves. I am here to teach them how to be life-long learners. I am here to teach them how to learn.


About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
This entry was posted in Education, Reform. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Teacher or Student?

  1. Michael G. says:

    There is no better way to teach. For too long the system has been about filling the kids with facts and details. What they really need to know is context, drawing parallels, questioning, implementing and trial and error.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Pat says:

    And while you are learning and showing your students how you are learning, you are modeling great learning behavior! What an inspiration you are for your students!! It is this attitude that makes you an effective teacher!

  3. Connie says:

    Terrific blog! As an educator, it is always a pleasure to see how other classrooms are run. I found your “snow day” an interesting day! Teach in my jammies, too cool!

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