To Teach is to Learn Twice

As a teacher for twenty years, I’ve been greeted on many a damp Monday morning by a motivational quote or a thought of the day/ week! What’s the point? Why have I been given these? Why am I now still using them? Well…..the answer is quite simple really… they help us to reflect; they help us to ask our students to reflect. They remind us of this incredible vocation that we have a privilege to be a part of every day! They remind us of the very reason why we do what we do! So thank you Joseph Joubert for such thought provoking motivation!

Stop!.....just a minute……

There are times when we falter; there are times when we forget our purpose- not because we intend to but because we get lost in the many tasks that a teacher finds themselves doing every day! So, let us take a minute out of our very busy lives to reflect on where we are. Let us take a moment to reflect on the inspiration I have provided you with at the start:

‘to teach is to learn twice’.

This, to me, is the very essence of the principles by which I wish to carry out my role as the Strategic Lead for Learning and Teaching. It is the very principle by which I carried out my teaching role for twenty years! Have you noticed that whatever we do, whatever we teach, you find yourself learning something new about that topic? Our Learning and Teaching strategy has this very much at its heart! How does it do this? Well, in a number of ways:
  • by focusing on pedagogy and effective strategies that move learning forward
  • by engaging professionals in action research- trailing strategies, thus trying new methods and strategies with our students
  • by sharing these through case studies, research events or conferences across the region
  • by working with and collaboratively developing practice alongside Higher Education Institutions and researchers, offering accreditation to our work
  • by developing a range of school to school working opportunities through SIGS and Pathfinders
  • by using a school led system to deliver professional learning based on an inquiry led approach
As you can see, there is a strong emphasis on continual learning and creating this culture within our schools. So where next? The Chief Inspectors Annual Report from Estyn identifies to key areas for our attention
  • the variability in the quality of teaching
  • Professional learning
What I would like is to deal with the first of these and start you all engaging in a discussion about effective pedagogy and strategies to develop this. Do we all have a shared understanding of the characteristics of good and excellent learning and teaching? What can we do to develop this across the region? How can you and your school contribute to this? This discussion is not just for Headteachers or Senior Leaders; it is for ALL of you that work in classrooms every day! All schools can be involved in this discussion, in many ways
  • Through replying to this blog
  • Through emailing me directly at CSC- andrea.may@cscjes.org.uk
  • By telephoning me at the Consortium- 01443 827500
  • By following Learning and Teaching on Twitter- new handle to be launched very soon!
Learning is lifelong; lets discuss how we can put the emphasis on our students learning; let's discuss our classrooms, what we know works and how we can share this so that we all continue to learn and make teaching of the highest quality across our region.
Andrea May

Andrea May

Strategic Lead for Learning and Teaching at Central South Consortium
Andrea May
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