Why I Teach

Just listened to Mike Wesch’s question — Why we need a “Why?”   when we teach. I’ll attempt to describe my personal Why?

There was a time, decades past, when I was criticized because there was too much movement and talking in my classroom. I had moved my students’ desks out of rows and into groups so students could talk with each other (cooperative learning, serious play) about data and how they might represent it in graphs.

Even though it was messier and certainly noisier, I felt then that the students, especially the English Second Language students, were doing authentic problem solving and asking questions together — learning.  Connected Learning describes this principle as Peer supported. It involves curiosity and fun, shared purpose and doing. It was the conversation that made the difference — the conversation about why.

That was the year I purposely questioned my choice to teach as a profession. And decided I would continue to study teaching and learning. That was the same year they added a computer lab… It’s been an amazing journey and I’m pleased to be part of this current conversation that emphasizes the construction of knowledge by learners studying together.


4 thoughts on “Why I Teach

  1. Maha Bali

    thanks for sharing this – your class sounds like a LOT of fun and I love the emphasis on serious play. It’s great that you were not disheartened by others’ criticism of the activity in your classroom. Whoever said people learn better by sitting down and shutting up????

  2. Catherine Cronin

    I’m glad I found your blog — just love your #whyiteach post! I relate to your description of movement and noise and chaos… and joyful learning. And then I saw your “3rd space” tag — and said I must find out more! Would love to know more about you and your learning/teaching/work. You can find me at @catherinecronin — looking forward to connecting and learning together in #ccourses 🙂


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