Teacher vs. Facilitator of Learning: Which do I want to be???

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I have always believed being a “teacher” was more about helping young people develop life skills than learning our subject matter content.  This is still the driving force behind my desire to be a professional educator & mentor for young people.  My passion is helping to develop productive, passionate & quality young people who will make a positive impact on the world.  To make the world a better place.  To provide “lollipop moments” to those around them.

Maybe because I feel I can make a greater impact in these areas.  An admitted lack of self-confidence in my ability to put together the perfect (you see, I am a perfectionist) innovative & great lesson may contribute to this perspective.  But, you see, the perfect lesson or project does not exist.  The “learning,” whether about content or life, happens throughout the journey.  And on this journey, I want to move to truly being a “facilitator” of experiences & learning.

However, I also want to create & offer a productive & engaging “learning” environment

So, we need to change the playbook of education.  And we need to allow ourselves (by this I mean ME) to turn our approach to a completely new structure to our classroom & learning.  The diagram of Education in the 21st Century above is now my NEW GOAL!

I want to be a Facilitator of Learning!  I want to create an environment that is Empowering Students to take Creative Action!
–  I want to provide experiences of learning that go beyond the 4 walls of my classroom.
–  I want an authentic, student-centered learning environment.

As we continue on this “cadre” journey together, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the massive amount of information & suggestions.  I am a big believer in trying to do one thing great, rather than many things good enough.  The same goes for seeking out suggestions & thoughts.  So, I focused on exploring the postings of the following blog:

Education Rickshaw

“In order to truly reject the pedagogy of the 20th century, which may have been adequate for the time, we literally have to make a 180° turn and run the other way.”

“…learning extends beyond the classroom walls…”

“…students are inspired and empowered to act, rather than sit back and have the knowledge brought to them…”

These were just a few of the quotes from the inspiring posts I explored in this blog.  I am buoyed by the conversations I have had this past week with Allison, Gunner, Eric & Jenny regarding throwing out the “status-quo” and “going for it” to create a new model in our classrooms.  I am encouraged by the energy that my colleagues have gained from this freedom (yes, Allison, your excitement has been inspiring).  🙂

Encourage interaction & personalization for our students.  HOW???  I don’t want this to just be a cliche, 21st Century buzz-word to my students that is code for “we get to do whatever we want.”  My biggest roadblock is that I continue to have trouble letting go of having an “intended outcome.”  While the best experiences I have had in the past few years involve projects, lessons and classroom experiences where there has been no clear intended outcome, it is still an obstacle in my planning.  I believe whole-heartedly that we need to create an environment that the “teacher” is NOW the “facilitator of learning.”  That the students are empowered to direct their learning.

But, will this happen??? Unfortunately, I am skeptical, as I am concerned that the “skill” of production & work ethic will still be a roadblock for our students.  That many will still choose to not produce or focus or work, even if they have ownership.  However, this will not stop me from believing this is the correct approach & going for it.

“This learning is so nonlinear, publicly shared, and student-driven that there is no silver bullet for how to achieve this in your classroom overnight.”

There is no “blueprint,” but that is NOT going to be a roadblock for me.
It is going to be what makes it exciting!

Any feedback, thoughts and/or encouraging words would be greatly appreciated.  

Journey, here we go! 


3 thoughts on “Teacher vs. Facilitator of Learning: Which do I want to be???

  1. Yes! We can do this! Start small! Encourage the kids to search for 5 musicians that inspire them? Have them pick a piece to learn? Can they teach each other? So many opportunities! Find out what they are learning in their other classes and learn pieces from history! I am motivated for you! Try and Trust!!!


  2. “There is no “blueprint,” but that is NOT going to be a roadblock for me.”

    Love this and this is why the Cadre is set up this way. There is nothing that I can provide any of you at this point that you already don’t know. You know it, now we just have to implement it and there is no one right way to do that. There are too many factors (teacher, student, outcomes, course, etc) to be a blueprint approach. Yet, too often that’s what we want. “Show me how this works for ME and MY STUDENTS”. I can’t….I can’t show you….you have to get in there and figure it out yourself. You can, practice hitting ’til your blue in the face, you can stand in the on-deck circle watching a pitcher and getting your timing down. But until you decide to step in the batter’s box you just don’t know what might happen. 🙂

    So excited for all of you and doing the work that needs to be done in education. We need people to lead the way…and that’s what you are all doing. Leading and sharing your work to others. That is the power in these networks.


  3. Pingback: Learning & Growth: WOW, what a painful & messy process! | Impact & Service: My Journey in Education

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