What is the role of the teacher?

With the New Year comes ponder and review, where many of us look at where we’ve been in the last 12 months and what we aspire to do or become for the new year ahead.

Whether it’s in our personal or professional lives, or across both it’s a great time to reassess, refocus and meet the challenges ahead with fresh eyes but with some preparation.

For our children this is even more important as they develop and learn especially through their early years not knowing even what they need to know. For teachers and early learning educators the balance of play based learning and intentional teaching is the juggle everyday and providing environments where both of these dynamics flourish for classes, groups and individual children is an under-rated achievement.

Sir Ken Robinson, the most watched speaker in TED’s history, discusses below the relationship between ‘teachers’ and ‘learners’.

‘In theatre director Peter Brook’s book ‘The Empty Space’ he is committed to making theatre the most powerful experience it can be and to do that we have to be clear what it is. To answer his own question, he performs a sort of thought experiment where he says: ‘what’s the irreducible minimum in a theatre experience – what can you take away and still have it?’

You can take away the curtains, the costumes, the script, the director, the stage, the building. All you really need is an actor in a space and somebody watching. And it’s the somebody watching that makes it theatre, the actor performs a drama. Theatre describes the relationship between the audience and the performance, so theatre is a relationship word, and he said: ‘it’s that relationship we should focus on. We shouldn’t add anything to it if it diminishes it or gets in the way of it.’

The analogy for me with education is very powerful, because in the heart of education there are students – if there were no students there would be very little point having the system. The fact that there are students in the system is what it’s all about and we must remember that. The role of education is to help students to learn and it’s the teachers who do that.

So, the heart of education is the relationship between teachers and learners – that’s what it’s about. Everything else should be focused on making that the best relationship possible.’

So knowing that the learners or children are at the heart of the education and being able to not get side tracked and encumbered with process, reporting and compliance would be a great new start to 2018.

Like you, this is at the core of what we do everyday. Interested in knowing more? drop me a note on leanne.court@journeytree.com.au

Happy New Year from JourneyTree!
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