Carlos Moreno, C.E.O. of Big Picture Learning, discusses the value of being open-minded in one’s approach to teaching. He encourages educators to take an approach to educating in a way that is uniquely theirs in order to find success as a teacher.
It starts with allowing yourself to express and share your own passions and excitement with young people, because that’s where they bring in their authentic selves and their energy. So being able to share a bit more about your own personal, your lives, your journeys, your challenges, your struggles, your excitements, your hobbies, like families. I think not compartmentalizing as much as I think history or more traditional forms have taught us.
Unlike the relationships between teachers and students, or adults and young people, that once you can get past that with young people, I think what you’ll see with them is that they will reciprocate. They’ll see and receive what you’re providing them, what you’re giving them. They allow themselves to be even more vulnerable and explore and try out new things.
A good friend of mine reminded me that a teacher’s classroom is their kingdom in so many ways. There’s so much flexibility that you have, even in your most constricting circumstances. Your classroom is your space that you can control a lot of in terms of trying new innovations and practices.
One is around being bold and trying those things out, like really diving into that. The other part is we would argue is that you will see those type of achievements in non-traditional methods of teaching and learning. You get to those. And in most cases, a lot of research has shown us that you can get to it a lot sooner once you start enabling some of these practices where students are more invested, more engaged, have more excitement in their work, and see more relevance in terms of what they’re doing.