Wednesday, November 07, 2007

And students shall lead us . . .

I'm sitting in the library, amazed. I had a meeting this morning in Java City to do some onerous work for the department [is there any other kind???]. As I walked into the library, I remembered a conversation I had yesterday with Sarahann - one of my science students in READ 498. I guess being in the library surrounded by so many books brought the memory to the surface [if only I had a pensive like Dumbledore!].

Sarahann was crafting unit plans for genetics and came by to get my take on her ideas. We were trying to figure out how to address the information about Mendel - the history behind his discovery of the principles of genetics as a lowly monk, working in obscurity. I couldn't think of anything short of an interactive lecture on the history of this research, but thankfully Sarahann was much better at ideas than I -- she wondered if there might be a children's book about Mendel and his work. Sure enough, a search on Amazon and Barnes and Nobel turned up a great book about Mendel and his work with peas. But her lessons are due tomorrow - and there wasn't time to order the book and see if it was what we were hoping for. So . . . we found a copy in the CU young adult library section! She set out for Cooper and retrieved the book and is now set to do the lesson on the history of genetics.

Maybe I need to pay much more attention to my students than I have in the past. Maybe I could learn a whole lot from them instead of vice versa. I'm always so eager to share what I've discovered about teaching science [and other subjects] that I tend to forget that they, too, are teachers -- here is a perfect example of students' thinking being far and away better than mine!


MegWolfe said...

I don't think that is that your student's ideas are better than yours. You see you worked with your student to come up with a solution to their unit plan. They didn't get there alone. I also don't think that makes you smarter than the student, it just means that you were able to put your heads together and come up with the best approach. If you wouldn't have beent there, then this great idea might not have emerged! I think we are just human and we all think differently, some very creative, some not so much, but still very smart. We were working in groups on a quiz today in my Discrete math class. Its hard! What I thought about the whole time we were working on the quiz is wow!, she knew a piece of the problem that I didn't. Then I added to her piece, and so on. Without the first piece, I wouldn't have been able to finish the problem, and without my piece she wouldn't have been able to finish. We worked together and that is how it is now with teachers and students, teachers and teachers, and students and students. We can all benefit from listening to what someone else has to say. They might not be perfect solutions, but they could give us the inspiration we need.

Malinda said...

I think this is one of the great things about student teaching. At this point, we are really close to being teachers, but we are still students seeking advice from more experienced leaders. We are able to not only go to our peers and professors for guidance, but we are also able to share our very fresh ideas. We have not been in the classroom long so we still have the new and creative ideas and we are still able to recall what it is like being a student in a classroom. I really think that I have learned more this semester because we have been asked to share everything that we know and think, but we are still able to hear what our teachers have experienced. Sharing knowledge benefits everyone.