Monday, November 29, 2010


As my students were doing their independent reading this morning, I was rereading Debbie Miller's Reading with Meaning. This is a fabulous book about teaching reading and I've been needing to reread it for some time. I put it beside my chair in the classroom and I read along with the kids for 15 minutes every day.

Today, I read the following quote,
"How did you get your kids to talk and share their thinking like that? My kids could never do that?" How did I get them to do that? It's really pretty simple. I taught them.
I realized this is my goal as a teacher. I want to teach my students how to think, how to talk, how to listen, how to explore, how to research, how to learn. I don't care about the content. That will take care of itself as they grow.

Maybe this is the big shift in education right now. We're still trying to teach kids content (common core, state, district standards, whatever it may be) when we should be focused on skills they need as learners. If we can teach them those skills - and model them for them everyday - then we will be successful as teachers.

I don't think this is a big aha, something that hasn't been said or debated before. It was simply a big aha for me.


teacherninja said...

It's important. I've been coming to that realization myself because as the librarian (with 2 classes a day) I can get bogged down with all the standards, but if I'm focusing on what they need to know to question and think about an issue then I'm doing the important work. Thanks!

A MilShelb Mom said...

I agree. We get so stuck on teaching them the "what" what we forget to teach them to think and to wonder and to answer the "why" and "how". So sad really. I try to incorporate that. It's just hard to teach that when the focus is so standards driven.

Pancakes For Recess said...

A big aha for me too! I went to see Debbie Miller speak last year and it was inspirational to say the least. It's good to always be reminded to think of the learner and not just what needs to be learned. Thanks, Jenny! (And thanks for stopping by Pancakes, too:)