Describe your best teacher and your worst teacher ever.
For me, the “best” teachers are living examples of what they preach. They model the behaviors that they want students to follow. They share with students the ideas that excite and interest them and, in this way, invite students along on their learning journeys. Forrest Gump, in his runs across the country, and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi are examples. From this perspective, “best teacher” is in the eye of the beholder, making learning a student-centered activity.
The ones that I find myself emulating. Often I’m not aware I’m emulating certain people until many years later. The realization is often startling. I’ve learned from “school” teachers, but I’ve also learned from peers, friends, family, students, strangers, animals, plants, and I’m sure many others that I can’t recall at the moment. I guess one way to answer this question is to say that I am the sum of all who have influenced me.
1. Have faith in students’ ability to learn.
2. Respect them as fellow learners rather than “students.”
3. Give them the opportunity to value learning as a lifelong DIY project.
4. Share with them the understanding that failure is an inevitable and invaluable step toward learning that really matters — and that “learning that really matters” is never easy and often becomes more elusive the more you learn.
How can you apply your list to help you facilitate online learning?
To design my courses (content and activities) and guide my interactions to reflect these ideas.