I told Dr Diana Hicks my doubts about being successful in my job: how can I be sure my kind of teaching is what my class needs? her answer was another question
"is that thinking or knowing?"
And this question has been my mantra through my job ever since.
If what I do is about knowing, if there's just one right answer, then it's not teaching, it's a test.
Teaching activities have to do with thinking (how?).
Testing activities have to do with knowing (what?).
It may sound ovious, but it isn't - at least, not for me. And I think all teachers run the risk of misunderstanding this difference. Of course assessment is an important (and difficult) part of our job, but if our teaching is not successful, if we are testing our pupils all the time instead of making them think on their own, our pupils are doomed to failure.
That's another reason why I love EU projects: Comenius, eTwinning, Erasmus, and all kind of real-life educational experiences that let pupils (and teachers) meet the unexpected - school is so boring otherwise. Through these programmes, we meet new people and ideas, and we (pupils and teachers) are forced to think, as what we know is not enough. That's how we get to know something new by thinking. Together.
So, teaching first, then testing. And teaching in a way that makes pupils think, not learn by heart - and forget the very next minute after the test.
I'd like to close 2011 with these pictures of the eTwinning Camp in Budapest. A place for teaching and learning, and for sure, a place for thinking.
I'm saying bye to the adventures and experiences of this year with the images of students happily engaged in learning and having fun.
Thank you eTwinning, Comenius, Dr Hicks, and thank you friends all over Europe.
Have a great 2012, full of satisfaction, success, and fun.
After all, despite the tons of bureaucracy and boring papers, ours is still the best job in the world :)