Wednesday, 14 September 2016

On becoming curious in the classroom

It's been a long time since I last wrote, the excuse is that I am doing my masters research this year and any time I go to write something that isn't related to my research I feel guilty! Crazy huh?! But today I am putting my guilt to one side so I can share a wee thought that has been rattling around in my brain for a little while now.

A few months ago I read a headline for an article on behaviour management called Be Curious Not Furious and it was a great read and supported a lot of the stress and brain development material I have spoken about previously. But it also sparked another thought and this was about the power of curiosity in my wider teaching practice.

Curiosity for me as a teacher means not constantly anticipating and predicting children's responses, losing the predetermined nature that can sometimes feature in classrooms especially when our planning is too tight, too rigid. It means letting go of the tension built from trying to squeeze every last educational drop out of every minute for every learner in your room. It also means getting comfortable with doing less so you can see and learn more as a teacher. I see it as mindfulness embedded in teaching practice.

You cannot be curious and rushing at the same time, you cannot be curious and furious at the same time, you cannot be curious and absent minded or otherwise occupied at the same time. To be fully curious you have to be present, immersed and engaged in what you are doing.

When I am teaching from a place of curiosity I see more, I hear more and I understand more about my learners, their strengths and needs. When I am teaching from a place of curiosity I am also a lot more attuned to my own intuition and make better use of the time I have. When I am teaching from a place of curiosity I walk alongside my learners and we delve deeper into the learning opportunity happening at the time. And the funny thing is when I teach from a place of curiosity I achieve more as a teacher, my time is better spent and I give more to the learners that I am working with than I ever do when I am rushing, pushing, trying to do more and be more.

Curiosity is intense. It is not for the faint-hearted. It means that you are using all of your senses to teach and learn from. It takes practice and energy. And I am still learning, still working on avoiding distractions, making sure I give myself permission to continue to be curious more often. It makes a difference in so many ways.  


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  2. A brilliant piece of inspired writing - don't feel guilty - I'm feeling blessed you took the time to write and share this. I love the concept of a curious teacher - having the vulnerability to not have to 'know' but to 'be' Thanks for your wisdom (now you can get back to your research guilt free!)

  3. Thanks for the comment Karen, I appreciate it and felt rather liberated writing something different for a change. Nice link to getting comfortable with vulnerability. And now back to the research :)