We connect in community through teaching and learning writing. Over the last 20 years I’ve watched writing workshops explode in volume and scope across North America. Writers and workshops are easy to find.
In previous lessons we talked about the idea that the doorway to become a better writer is to become a better learner. We write what we learn AND we learn what we teach.
To become a better learner, become a teacher.
The best teachers are learners too.
To learn is to live. To teach is to give.
‘When you learn, teach, when you get, give.’Maya Angelou
To prepare a learning experience, I need to reflect on my own learning first, make connections among the material, the students, and the many ways to learn.
This video explores ways to connect with your community through teaching.
8 Tips for Designing a Learning Experience
- Push thinking on a topic. Open up processes for change. Use research-based strategies to help students make connections.
- Provide multiple lenses to view the topic. One way to picture this is as different coloured lighting gels, the kind that theatres use to create different effects. Using lenses provides many ideas and strategies to see the topic with new eyes and to add rich layers of meaning.
- Use questions as a way to facilitate thinking and growth. Questions provide opportunities to reflect.
- Establish community. Networking and meeting other learners is important to the process.
- Share research by including multiple sources and putting together information we can’t otherwise find in one book.
- Facilitate learning to spark thinking that results in a change in a learner’s practice or project. Set something in motion.
- Play is important to writing and learning and creative thinking. Aim to have fun along the way.
- Teach to learn. Each time we teach, new connections are made, understanding expands, and craft improves.
Click here to download a WORD document of the plan so you can edit it to suit your needs.
Search for writing workshops, classes, programs, and/or conferences, making a “bucket list” of learning experiences.
Free-write about a possible workshop plan using these questions as a guide:
- What are my goals?
- What do I want students to be able to know and do?
- How will I organize the learning?
- What is the essential purpose of the workshop?
- When students leave the workshop, how will I gauge my success?
Write about a teacher who influenced you in your journal. Then, write him/her a thank-you note.