She Turned the Learning Over to Students

FOR EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP MAGAZINE, JUNE 2014 ONLINE EDITION

Miss Tiff, my junior year English teacher, shifted my understanding of what it means to learn. Until taking her class, I had only attended traditional teacher-centered, lecture-style classes in middle and high school. In Miss Tiff’s class, we sat in a U shape and held discussions. The atmosphere of the classroom was academic, collaborative, and active. We were encouraged to say things like, “I concur with … ” and “I disagree because ….” I now recognize the teaching model as Socratic circles, but at the time it was just Miss Tiff being a good enough teacher to let go of control and turn the learning over to her students. She inspired me to become the teacher I am today. Like her, I aim to listen instead of talk, encourage instead of inform, and create engaged learners instead of passive listeners.

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