Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gina Teaches My Sister Wordle

Yesterday, I brought my 13 year old sister Christina into class with me. In an effort to make use of a good opportunity for someone to teach what they have learned, I recruited Gina to choose what she wanted to teach AND teach it. I think choosing was the hardest part.

Gina did a great job teaching and taught me and Jamie Lynn a few things we had forgotten along the way. In every experience these is always something to learn. I had no expectation to learn the big lessons that I learned yesterday.

1.) The hardest part of teaching is finding a means to motivate. I think the easiest solution is to be enthusiastic-- make it known that you LOVE what you have to share. As far as I can tell, this is the only way to motivate unless you know something about your students. Which leads me to my second point...

2.) Be attentive. Paying attention to everything your students reveal about themselves can help make their experience relevant to their lives-- yet another means for motivating. Knowing your students will also help you gauge what kind of direction you should provide.

3.) Direction and instruction ARE different. Direction means developing goals and providing the tools necessary for your students to discover resources and paths to achieve them.
--Instruction is a step by step process with little room for creativity and lots of room for error. With that said, limit instruction and INCREASE DIRECTION!

The last and (I hope to be the most lasting) lesson I have learned is that learning can happen from any source and so can teaching-- age and experience are merely secondary factors in regards to learning exchanges.

Thank you Gina and Christina for the lesson, and of course, Jamie Lynn your presence made it that much more fun.


  1. I like what you said about direction and instruction. Good point!

  2. Thanks Anthony & Christina I had a blast!

  3. Outstanding post Anthony! In fact, I love this entire blog.

    One of the first things I learned when I started teaching in 1990 was that I was learning as much if not more than my students were. Way back when I was concerned that I did not know enough but now I'm learning that this is just the way true learning experiences are, everyone learns!

    I'd also like to take this opportunity to chime in and tell you what a great job I think your are doing for the entire EDM310 project. The students this summer are performing at the highest level I've seen yet and this is my fifth semester. I think this is in large part because of the role you and Jamie Lynn have played. I for one, am learning a lot from you guys and I appreciate that.

    Keep up the good work. SS

  4. I really think this is a great post Anthony. Like Tyler, I agree 100% about direction. I have never really thought about it in this way. Thanks for the new views!

  5. Stephen and Tyler, I am glad I could share what I learned with y'all, and Gina-- you're welcome and thank YOU!

    Mr. Sullivan, I appreciate your words and I am very happy to hear that the students this summer are doing better than your previous semester. Dr. Strange and I talked about a side project for Jamie Lynn and I-- in which we would try to solve the mystery regarding motivation and performance. I will keep you updated on the results!