During a recent workshop with freedomlab, I was reminded of a reflection on my own teaching practice that I wrote a while ago. In a 2-day thinktank-meets-hackathon we developed a sensory storytelling teaching approach for elementary level that includes much of what I also found useful to engage students, on University level.
– love and knowledge
– engagement and motivation
– collaborative strategy
Teaching engages all senses, one’s entire personality, patience, empathy and a good judgement; it also requires creativity and clear communication of knowledge and tasks – a teacher orchestrates an array of hard and soft skills to shape an engaging learning environment. My log reflects four pivotal insights that I got from my first teaching experience in an English-speaking academic setting. First, sensitizing students to see love as the key driver for gaining knowledge opens the arena for a playful approach to learning. Second, students get motivated by a personal atmosphere and a learner-oriented approach. Third, collaboration and a well-balanced depth of content keep students mentally busy and engaged. Fourth, some challenges arise with respect to language as well as to academic meta-knowledge, such as literacy and style that can only be partly addressed in class. My assumption is that small group teaching can be approached as a hybrid function between teaching, facilitating, and mentoring by delivering deep knowledge that is well structured in a whole-hearted, caring class environment.