More about “getting out of the way”

einstein1The objective of education is learning. Or not even that, I’ll interject. More exactly, the true objective is “contentment”, a well adjusted individual.

And the only way to reach this objective is to tap into the “feeling good about oneself” that is always there in each student. To give them success, that feeling of success that they define and set. And you do it by rubbing relationships together and giving students the space and freedom to be. The space to do what they can and want to do, what they can dream to do – not what you’d want them to do or what you’d want them to dream about or what the “state” would deem proper.

Anyone who’s read my blog more than a week knows I keep coming back to this one salient point. Teachers need to seek their own demise. Teachers need to have the courage to get out of the way and let their students climb, fall, reach, fail.

Nuff said. Watch this video on how students can “learn” from their own volition and drive. How teachers CAN get out of the way and still be successful teachers.

(see the previous post about “giving students room” – here.

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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3 Responses

  1. Mohammad Reza Minoosepehr says:

    That’s right. Students need to stand on their own feet and the only objective of each teaching course is to give the students enough courage to do that. There is a good proverb which says” instead of catching a fish for a person, show him how to catch a fish.” as you can catch a fish for him just for one day, but if he, himself, knows how to catch a fish, he will have fish forever. Teachers should just show the way to their students and let them to walk through it themselves/in their own way.

    That’s what we do sometimes in our classes as we let the students to run their classes in their own way. They are free to choose a leader among themselves (the leader’s role is to help the others to do their duties better), or it can be a group work activity as all of the students work with each other. All the time, the teacher is in the class but doesn’t interfere in the activity .at the end; he gives some of his feedback or comments for making the situation better. It’s a kinda “student-oriented” approach. It really works..

  2. Thanks for sharing this video – very inspiring. I’ve also been thinking a lot recently about this idea of teachers needing to get out of the way of learning. The Independent Project is a powerful example of just how effective allowing students space to learn on their own can be. Examples such as these call into question our role as teachers and our current model of classroom education. What might happen if we didn’t “teach” our students – group them according to age and academic ability – impose class times and seating assignments – lecture – lead class activities – decide the curriculum? Given the space for creative autonomy what might our students learn?

  3. ddeubel says:


    I’m with you all the way. Exactly. I find myself wishing sometimes that “alternative” becomes “normal”. It would truly improve things.

    Yes, great video – truly to be applauded.

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