Memories and Reflections

What do you think about peer teaching by kids? What is your first recollection of teaching someone something?

Share your thoughts and memories here.




After more than a dozen years of reflecting on my 35 years of teaching, I'mstill inspired with the meaning of teaching--the desire to share beautiful things I have experienced and to celebrate them with another. From pointing out a hummingbird to looking at the colorful handouts we've made together, my husband and I still share the excitement of preparing materials to help students learn deeply and share what they know with their peers and others. Students teach / reach their peers effectively in so many ways. They learn that their peers learn in different ways. They figure out strategies to help them understand better. They talk about the differences in the learners they help. They give reasons why they share what they know. When asked, they talk orwrite about what motivates them to help someone else learn something new. They stick with a buddy as they practice new skills. They talk about how rewarding it is to see someone finally understand after struggling with a math topic.

Our slogans below formed our Christmas card a few years ago.




                                       The Hoenny Center:

                          Developing the teacher in every child.

                        Students who teach add value to their learning!

                   We nurture all other abilities in kids, why notteaching?

                Those who can, DO.     Those who can do more, TEACH!

         There are many and varied paths to learning.  One way is teaching.

     Excellent teaching is not new; systematically developing kids’ teaching is!

     We need a stronger K-12 teaching foundation for our university education

            majors. Then we’ll have even better teachers who’ll remain

                                       in the profession longer.

                                           Be a trailblazer!

                       Explore with the Hoenny Center

              on the next frontier of teacher development!

      "To teach is to learn twice." Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)



What a wonderful R & D - Pre K is where teaching preparation SHOULD begin!

Posted: 10/01/2008 | From: Marsha in Miwaukee, WI

Wow, Terry, what a wonderful R & D - Pre K is where teaching preparation SHOULD begin!

It happened to me - teaching piano to beginners (at age 12)because my piano teacher's schedule was full. She taught me how to teach beginners. And teaching the music of "The Mikado" to my peers in Grade 8 because the music teacher said the music was "...too difficult for Negro students to learn." The drama teacher who taught other parts of the production appointed me as music director and modeled instruction for me. Refer to "On My Journey: Minority Teachers and Teaching Beyond the Curriculum," Mt. Lake Reader 2004, 14-20.

Great section - "To Think About." I spent more than 20 years in Phases 1 & 2, (where I was awarded the Massachusetts Lowell Mason Award) and 11.5 years in Phase 3 (where I was the only member of the UWM Arts Department to achieve the Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. Since then a member of the film dept. received the award.

As UWM I developed a mentoring course for beginning teachers (Phase 4 of your chart). See "M is for Mentoring" - Wisconsin School Musician, 2000, 71, (2), 20, and a reference to the course in my chapter, "I Plant My Feet on Higher Ground: Music Teacher Education for Urban Schools" in Teaching Music in the Urban Classroom, V. 2, Frierson-Campbell,(Ed.), Rowman & Littlefield & MENC, 47-66.

I've been in Phase 5 since 1980s.

Thanks for sharing the info.


Retired June '08 as Chair Elementary Music Education

My first grade teacher inspired me to become a teacher.

Posted: 10/01/2006 | From: Vicki in St. Louis, MO

I've told this story numerous times, especially when I'm interviewed on the radio. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Robinson, inspired me to become a teacher. I've gone to public school my entire life and Mrs. Robinson taught me in Mount Vernon Elementary in St. Petersburg, FL in 1969. I could tell she loved us, all of us. You could tell from the way she carefully planned her lessons to how she decorated our room to how she spoke to us, even if we were bad. She spent a lot of time looking for ways to let us each know we were special. We did a number of things that showcased our individual talents and gifts whether it was an "About Me" display or a story book we created ourselves. I still have the class story book we wrote. Each child wrote something about ourselves to share with the class. Mrs. Robinson put them all together in a book and we each illustrated our page. It is something I treasure. I was new to the school and she went out of her way to make me feel welcome and that I belonged. When it came time to go to second grade, i was devastated that Mrs. Robinson wouldn't be my teacher again. Saying goodbye to her was one of the hardest things I ever did. We moved the next year and she wrote me a note on her personalized note paper saying that she would always remember the sweet, red headed girl that I was. I still have that note. I also have a photo taken of me looking up adoringly at her. It was for the newspaper, but I don't know why.

I knew I would be a teacher in second grade.

Posted: 10/01/2005 | From: Sara in St. Louis, MO

I knew I would be a teacher in second grade. Then, as a 12-year-old, I loved to babysit and teach little kids how to do things. I never tired of it. It gives me as much pleasure today after over 30 years of teaching.

"Look! A circle and a square!"

Posted: 10/01/2004 | From: Hillary in Edwardsville, IL

I went up to my teacher in math class, showed her one of my peanut butter crackers and a cheese cracker and said, "Look! A circle and a square!"

"Look, Sis! That says 'SO' 'UP'!"

Posted: 10/01/2003 | From: Mary in St. Louis, MO

My aunt Inga, whom I called "Sis," and I were shopping at the corner grocery store. As I waited at the check out counter, I noticed several boxes of Campbell's soup stacked near the doorway. I wanted to share what I thought I knew! Pointing to the word 'soup' on a box I enthusiastically said, "Look, Sis! That says 'SO' 'UP'!" I was so excited to share what I had learned in Kindergarten.

It's never too late!

Posted: 10/01/2002 | From: Cindy in Rochester, NY

It's never too late! As far as my getting into teaching – I certainly did not wish to become one in college. In fact, nothing was farther from my mind. After staying home with the kids, I discovered no one was interested in my 7-year-old lab skills. I was applying to go back to school in another year to become a physician's assistant when a friend called me to say she had volunteered my name as a possible tutor in biology. I ended up tutoring three students all year and several others for shorter terms. Those students encouraged me to go into teaching saying that I had a knack for it. Meanwhile I discovered I loved doing it. Hence, when NYS offered Empire State Scholarships to train people in math and science to become teachers, I jumped at the chance. Fifteen years later, I cannot imagine any other career. I love it!

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