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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Teacher Tom: Building a Learning Machine

 Teacher Tom: Building a Learning Machine

Building a Learning Machine

A five-year-old boy once accused me of being a "bad teacher." He wasn't mad at me. It wasn't intended as an insult. He was grinning as he said it, but he offered it more as a statement of fact than a joke.

I've had children tell me that I'm "supposed to be a boy," "you smell stinky," and "you're a big, fat guy." Learning the unvarnished, unblinking "truth" about yourself, at least from one person's perspective, is one of the "perks" of being a preschool teacher, but I'd never been told I was a bad teacher. 

"What do you mean? I'm not a bad teacher."

"You are a bad teacher."

"Why am I a bad teacher?"

"You never teach us anything."

"That means I'm a good teacher. I get this place ready and then you all come here and teach yourself things."

He was in the midst of a project he had been working on for a week. To an outsider, it probably just looked like he was gathering junk from the playground and putting in a big heap, but we all knew by now that he was building a machine. He CONTINUE READING:  Teacher Tom: Building a Learning Machine