Perhaps one of the most powerful words in the field of education is the word “Why”. This short and single word can make even those with the highest of positions explain, defend, and even reflect. However, in progressive teaching, the question “Why?” serves a greater agenda. It not only dictates the contents of a teacher’s plan for their students but also gives meaning to everything the students learn. In short, the word “Why?” gives our learning a purpose.
The question “Why?” is the foundation of every teacher’s lesson. I can stretch and say that the answer to what makes learning meaningful is “why?” Why do they have to teach this? Why do the students have to learn this? Why do they have to do these necessary steps to teach a particular topic to the students? We must remember that for learning to be effective, the experience must be enjoyable and meaningful to the students. This simple question, combined with the students’ interests, is enough for a teacher to be able to carefully map and plan their every move to make learning a meaningful experience for their students.
Another reason why “Why?” is powerful is that it is always subjective. Just like each child is unique in their own ways, every teacher’s answer to the question “Why?” is also different. Why do these teachers even teach? It is because of this that every teacher is also unique in their own way. Different teachers mean having different principles, values, and teaching pedagogies that they can use and embody to create a meaningful learning experience for their students. That being said, no two teachers have the same teaching style and no two teachers can provide their students with exactly the same learning experiences.
Of course, teachers are prone to making mistakes. No teacher is perfect, not even those who are experienced and passionate about their profession. We must always remember that even though teachers make mistakes, the seed they planted during their time with us will bloom into something that will affect our perspective of learning and our outlook in life. After all, the best teachers are the ones who are able to touch students’ lives outside the classroom.
For my fellow teachers, I would like to end this reflection with a passage adapted from Samuel Goldwyn’s quote that may help us in clearing our doubts and worries about ourselves. I hope everyone still stands strong and healthy despite our current situation. Remember to still take a rest when things get hard. Remember, “Our why’s may not be always right, but they are never wrong.”
🌱 Reflection by: Teacher Earl