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Who Wants to Go Back-to-School?

I tell my students on the first day that we are ALL teachers and learners in my class, including me!

There’s an assumption that school is for students’ learning, but I have to question that. I am a teacher – a label/title that I don’t really agree with, but that’s another story. The fact is that I’m not really interested in teaching. I’m interested in learning.

Many teachers I know think of themselves as finished products. Their role is to simply impart their knowledge, and evaluate/judge the students’ abilities or skills. I can’t think of anything more stagnant, boring and onerous that THAT! In all of my teaching, I think about what I find fascinating and what I would love to learn more about. I use my teaching to grow, and that’s what makes me fresh and eager to go back to school.

backtoschoolFSo I return every semester looking forward to all the learning (and teaching) that will be shared among my students and me. Just as I was given the title of teacher, I pass it on to my students, because teaching is a wonderful way to learn. For me, I can learn about people and how they tick. About relationships, and how to establish, expand and maintain them. About the subjects I teach; about myself; about life.

I tell my students on the first day that we are ALL teachers and learners in my class, including me! I let them know that sometimes I don’t like other professors (or other adults) very much because they think they know everything. I don’t know everything. I can learn all the time, and I hope that we will all help each other by teaching, learning and growing together!

Now, with only 2 days left of summer break I am filled with my usual anticipation, energy, and passion to live, learn and love in school – to truly be in my element. So to answer the title question, “who wants to go back to school?” — I do, again and again, forever! How bout you?


{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Sonya Shannon September 20, 2014, 2:45 am

    What a great piece! And so very true… I learned more from my students than I believe I could have ever taught them. I learned humility and compassion, gratitude and resourcefulness, tolerance and resilience, to mention some of the spiritual “lessons.” My students’ questions in lecture classes, their insights in essays, and their artwork and processes in studio classes vastly expanded my understanding of the field. I’m with you, Kristina: can’t WAIT to keep on learning, each and every day!!

    • Kristina September 30, 2014, 12:33 pm

      Dear Sonya Teacher (as they say here in Asia),

      It is amazing to me how the concept of teaching is regarded around the world. I am so happy to hear your comments and understand your experiences, as they are from unique and diverse contexts. However, no matter where or who or what is being “taught”, the real learning comes through the sharing of opinions, perspectives, and insights of those around us (classmates, friends, co-workers, professors, family, etc…). TOGETHER we learn; SEPARATE we falter. Long live learning!!!!!!!

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