Even though I often tried to explain to my seventh- and eighth-grade students the “why” of what we were doing in language arts, I don’t think I understood how important it really was for students to know why they were learning what they were learning until I began teaching future teachers. I now explain the purpose of my teaching to my pre-service teachers. I model for them the importance of the idea that, in a time of standards-gone-wild, we can still have meaningful and purposeful lessons in our classrooms. Today, watching students—future teachers or young adolescents—explore concepts of learning is a beautiful thing. It is the work of thinking about how to create lessons with true purpose and meaning that is different for my teaching today.
University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
Five years of teaching