Reaching Across Teaching and Learning

Reaching Across Teaching and Learning

It can be daunting to teach. At first, as a student, you can see yourself becoming a teacher, but the moment you turn around to teach, bang, your perception changes, as you shift from your student status to teacher of others status and all is changed, and still with uncertainty, all is the same.

How do Others Learn?

Learners are hard to read. As learners we spend many years trying to figure ourselves out. How do we learn? How do others learn? What are the strategies, the commonalities and differences in approach to learning and to retention of learning, and how will we survive the next class, the confusing curriculum, and the testing? These questions never quite resolve, but give birth to new questions built on half answers from before.

How do I Reach Across?

Reaching across teaching to learning is an amazing moment. There, a student sits, and you reach out to help them learn. You channel your own experience as a student to bridge that gap and as the world turns you come full circle to yourself as a student. And then you deliver some teacherly words, see how they are received and make an adjustment in what you say or do next. It is uncertain to say exactly how well you have reached out across the human divide of learning.

What is The Thought Process?

The student begins to articulate their learning and you begin to look at this incredible thought process. You ask yourself what features of this thought process can I help encourage, or challenge, or change. And the student asks themselves what is the thought process behind this teaching? And after all of the dynamic interchange that teaching and learning represent, the teacher and learner part ways. The outcome is uncertain as some questions are answered, or attempted, and other questions arise, uncertain.

What Are You Thinking?

The teacher is just as amazed as the student. The energy has passed back and forth and the world has changed just a little bit. But the whispered wisdom is that you have participated in reaching out across time and space to follow each other’s thinking and this is why learning is sustained thought. Following someone else’s thought isn’t the end, it is the beginning. Engaging with sustained thought in yourself and others links you both to the holy curiosity: what are you thinking?

Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

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