#IMMOOC W4 – Modelling Learning on the Go!

To inspire students to be innovative and take risks in the classroom, they need to see their teacher doing the same. So, I think an important part of creating an innovative classroom environment requires a teacher who is willing to be open to modelling their own learning.

It comes down to “walking the walk”, not just “talking the talk”. Students will trust both the teacher and the process more if the teacher is willing to do the same thing that is expected of them.

I always strive to model my learning for students. In my current role as a daily occasional teacher, I often am going into class “blind” even if I know what course and/or topic is being taught.

Since I don’t have the curriculum for every class memorized (surprising, I know!), I am often (re-)learning on the go!


So, I find ways to learn! I pick up a textbook, I search on Google, I find YouTube videos, and (best of all) I ask the students! I do this all in front of the students. I tell them if I don’t know something, but I also tell them that we’ll figure it out!

Sometimes I’m able to learn enough to help them, other times we learn along side each other, and other times they help each other. I think the students witnessing all of these is beneficial to them! They see learning is not linear, not permanent, and collaborative.

They see me taking the risk of  being honest and open about my own learning, which gains trust and shows I’m “real”. That in turn, will hopefully encourage the students to do the same and take their own risks!

What do you do to model your learning for students? Do you think that’s important for innovation?

This entry was posted in #IMMOOC, Innovation, Learning, Reflection, supply teaching. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to #IMMOOC W4 – Modelling Learning on the Go!

  1. Sarah Sanders says:

    Great connections to your practice. Being a daily occasional teacher would make building the relationships needed to create a safe space for risk taking more of a challenge. I love that you can take risks yourself and show the students it is OK not to be an expert all the time. I am wondering if you find certain locations where that is easier. Can you tell which classrooms are already more innovative from how the students react? How does this approach help with mamangung behaviout? I know that this is often the challenge for occasional teachers facing students who are used to their own classroom routines. As a classroom teacher I found behaviour issues went down when using this approach, but I have always thought that the relationship piece was the key – but perhaps it is the approach. You have me thinking…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alyssa says:

      Sarah – took me a while to reply because I really needed to think about this! I do find classes that are used to more innovative strategies respond more easily to my “learning on the spot”, while other students can get frustrated or annoyed if I don’t know answers RIGHT NOW. But, I do find they tend to soften fairly quickly once they see I’m putting in the effort to learn. Some seem to really enjoy it – like they see me as a learning partner, rather than the expert, and feel more comfortable asking questions and/or saying they don’t know something.

      About behaviour – I think all classes struggle with having an occasional teacher. The ones that have more innovative teachers can go either way. Some go with the flow and just keep working like they normally would. Most, I find, see it as a “vacation” from what the class is like everyday and tend to check out. For example, they would ignore my request for creating random groups, or skip steps I know their teacher do with them.

      I know it gets thrown around a lot that students who work independently while their regular teacher is there will continue to do that if there is someone else (or no-one!) in the room. I have found this generally to not be the case in general (of course, there are always exceptions!).

      It’s interesting. Lots to think about here.


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