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“I’ve learned …

The other day I received an email from a former student. The final comment about people remembering how people make us feel was the message in the email. John Dewey argued that teachers created spaces, I would say hospitable spaces, where students felt good and comfortable learning, including making mistakes. It was not about what was taught and about the relationships emerging in those spaces. Classrooms should provide a feeling of safety and security even when things are not going well. Maya Angelou’s words make this point.

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

2 responses »

  1. spaces, I would say hospitable spaces, where students felt good and comfortable learning, including making mistakes. It was not about what was taught and about the relationships emerging in those spaces. Classrooms should provide a feeling of safety and security even when things are not going well

    .
    How could athletes ever excel unless it was fine to stumble, strive to improve, adapt and change even though it is uncomfortable, awkward, un mastered.
    .
    Living in a perfection paradigm is a prison.

    As I see it, our flaws need to be accepted for us to grow beyond an ego.

    Reply
    • When I received the email from my former student, there was no reference to what she learned in our classroom. It was about what she called receiving a chance and seeing how I saw through her ways of getting out of things.

      You are right Marty. When we cannot make mistakes, out of fear or out of a belief that we should not, it is like being in a prison. It is the way I learned to be a teacher and a goalie in hockey. I captured my mistakes and tried learning from them

      Reply

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