How I See Myself As A Teacher
I am a researcher, investigator, and co-learner. The people that I work with on a daily, intimate basis happens to be about 36''-48" tall and have only been on this earth approximately 48 months. This group and all groups of children are comprised of the most intelligent, creative, innovative, confident, independent, and curious investigators. I admire every single one of them.
It is my job, as a researcher, to co-explore, co-discover, and take risks in new environments, ideas, and ways of thinking with this formidable group. I do so by listening. And observing. And reflecting. I will occasionally ask scaffolding questions that provoke and challenge their thinking, or hypothesis but sometimes that proves too challenging, and my questions go unanswered. It is my job to invite their attention to something, but it is not my job to tell them what to think, how to think, or what to do. If I do my job correctly, I will form genuine relationships with children. They will know their voice is heard, their ideas valued, and their work documented and shared with parents and colleagues.
Sometimes when working side-by-side with children, I will find myself without words, without anything to say; and at times this is fortunate for the child because then the child will have to invent new words. The world is here for them to explore, not for me to show them my world and what I have learned. When we solve problems together, I could easily tell them quickly how it's done, but then when will they have the chance to problem-solve on their own creatively? When would they have the opportunity to come up with new experiences and innovative ideas? This is my joy, my passion, my reward, to co-learn right alongside these amazing beings, and see the world through their eyes, through their voice, and through their passions.
"We don’t want to teach children something that they can learn by themselves. We don’t want to give them thoughts that they can come up with by themselves. What we want to do is activate within children the desire and will and great pleasure that comes from being the authors of their own learning." - Loris Malaguzzi