Today, as I was wading through social media, as we all do on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I came across a quote that stopped me and made me think. The quote read: ‘The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.’
At first, I thought ‘yes’! Of course we teach from our heart, as we care about our students. However, as I dwelled on it, I realized that what the quote was about was not quite what I believe. Of course I care about every single student I teach. There will never be any question about that. I am also very passionate about teaching, so, indeed, I teach from the heart. Yet, I firmly believe that to claim the best teachers do not teach from a book is untrue; book-learning is sometimes necessary.
There are some things out there that we can have opinions about. There are different schools of thought regarding many topics. However, especially within STEM subjects, there are many truths that can be considered absolute. This is where book-learning becomes vital. Some things we simply have to learn ‘from books’. And, mind you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with books. I personally love a good book! However, even so, I then thought, is it necessary to actually use a literal book to teach these things?
Here are my thoughts: a good teacher can take what is in a book and use the information to create a meaningful learning experience. Let’s face it – for many children, reading facts off a page is not fun. A teacher can (and should) transform the facts into an adventure. Let the child explore and find answers through experimentation. Let the child use their imagination when there is room for it. Teach children to work together to find the truth. Books and the heart do not cancel each other out; both are needed in quality education. It is the means by which we transfer knowledge from the books into the heart that makes the difference. In essence, best teachers teach from the book into the heart.
This is why we do what we do here at FoxICon. We want to be there to support teachers in finding new, exciting, child-centred ways to make students’ hearts intelligent.