I had a wonderful class this morning with a group of young pre-service teachers. We hadn’t seen each other for several weeks. All of us enjoying the mid semester break while also connecting with industry. For the students I chattered with this morning they had just returned fresh from 21 days in an educational setting – most of them in a school. They looked different. Confident, more established in what they want and what they don’t. It was refreshing to hear their excitement, the ideas, and the inspiration that had come from their experience. All had a unique experience, and we would be naive to think all had a fabulous time – as with anything, critical reflection often offers moments of tension where an observation or experience hasn’t been that desirable. What was wonderful was the openness to share their stories; to learn from each other without judgment and to appreciate the insights.
Prior to the break, we had been working together for six weeks and had established some guiding principles for our learning environment.
1. Non judgmental behavior that honors there are times when we don’t all see or feel the same.
2. Every member of the class community has the right to feel safe.
3. We show mutual respect when we share and when we listen.
4. There is no right or wrong in our classroom, rather experiences and reference points that contribute to how we see right at this moment.
So we honored these agreements while sharing and discussing. We implemented a favorite strategy of mine called “3C’s“. In a community circle (on this accession formed around the tables) we stood so we could all see each other. Then we…
- took a moment to think about our experience with teaching and to frame it through a celebration, a care or a concern.
- selecting one story that could be identified under one of these categories, each member of the class shared their story (taking turns).
- peers had an a opportunity to ask a question to engage with further information.
- we all actively listened as each member of the class community shared.
- further connections were encouraged based on the sharing of these stories.
How do you share your stories of learning?
What strategies do you implement in the learning environment to support learning from each other?
How can we learn from each other?