To be a teacher is to take on a very privileged, rewarding and challenging career. Working in the classroom on a daily basis with young people as our regular audience can lead us to question whether we are doing things right. We wonder could we have delivered a certain task in a better style? Could we have simplified or extended the task to reach all learners? What can I do to make things better?
Because ultimately, it is up to us as individuals to become better at what we do, for ourselves and most of all for the benefit of the learners in front of us.
This is where Learning Partners can really help us. Often, we are not alone in our thinking and our experiences. There are likely to be many other teachers thinking and feeling exactly as you do – so how can we make this better? By communicating more with each other. By establishing a Learning Partner relationship.
There can be many levels to working with a learning partner; initially simply an informal chat about what you have just delivered, whether you felt the learners made progress or how they could make even more. Chatting about teaching strategies is a secure and safe way to explore alternative ideas or methodologies as well as establishing trust with another person who is going through a similar experience.
In time this could develop into a more formal partnership where you observe each other and suggest ways of approaching tasks differently. Sometimes an observer can see a lot more than us when we stand at the front and teach our subject. They may be teaching the same topic but in an entirely different style which has different successes or areas to improve. Sharing is a brilliant way to help us improve our delivery, our relationships and ultimately our teaching.
You could even exchange “mini-observations” or praise forms with each other. Let’s be honest – we all love to be recognised in what we are doing! Perhaps you could use a praise and support form such as this one that explains more.
A Learning Partner is a great resource to have in our career; we can share aspirations as well as weaknesses and get another point of view which always helps us move forward. Is there someone in your organisation that you feel you could trust and form this relationship with? Someone you chat with at break-time – could they be that person to work with you in order that you both develop in your teaching careers?
Teaching can be a very isolating job, if you let it.
Share your experiences of teaching with someone today and I bet they will have similar feelings and experiences as yourself. Try and develop this relationship into something more formal. Teach2030.com is a great place to broaden your experience. We have many courses that you could work through together or simply check out the weekly teaching tips and try to implement them together. Perhaps you could work through the Teach2030 courses together, implement strategies simultaneously, then share what worked and what could be improved upon.