My TEDxZagreb video was published a few days ago, and the caption reads as follows:
How important is to learn kids to tell stories ? Can we improve their lives with great informations by storytelling ? From the expirienced teacher who is exploring the possibilities of storytelling.
The mistakes in the caption did not pass unnoticed. Especially the "aberration" my friend texted about. "LEARN KIDS? LEARN KIDS???"
Being an English teacher myself, I have a lot of friends who are teachers and on the fanatical side of demanding correct use of the language. Even my hairs stood on end upon reading, I admit. And I am studying Croatian, so I should not be surprised by the negative transfer. I hear this all the time when Croatians speak English. Even good English!
You see...in Croatian, there is but one word for teaching, learning and studying: UČITI. Admittedly, there are some prefix complications that stretch this word to a dozen, but I want to make a point here. So let's stick to "učiti" for this reflection:
To teach has to always be an act of learning. For one, due to the evident necessity of staying tuned to the needs of the learner. But more importantly because teaching is learning as well! Teaching should never be a one way action.
And may I clarify that teaching and learning and even studying, are not limited to teachers and students? While there is life, there must be growth, and the more deliberate that growth is, the more chances of happiness and living a life of fulfilment we have.
Teaching should be an interaction. Each learner brings a unique response to the teaching, which becomes the teacher's learning in turn. Because what we teach should be a provocation for the learner to display their own singular combination of character strengths, curiosity, interpretation. Their voice.
Staying open to the learning dimension of the teaching situation is crucial to stay present. It prevents us from falling into the trap of teaching by heart. Like we have nothing to learn from the process. That's one of the most pervasive forms of disengagement in today's schools and homes, in my humble opinion.
Stay open. Stay alert. Keep the vibe. The magic happens when to teach, to learn and to study all roll into one.