education Teaching

What my Students have taught me.

Teaching and learning go very well together but the phrase is often employed to suggest that we as teachers are doing the teaching, and that it is only the students who are doing the learning. I dread to suggest it but I can imagine that for some teachers (I am picturing them with mortar boards) that is the way it is.


From multiple discussions I get the feeling that is not the case for the vast majority of educators so as suggested by Emma here are some of the things I have learnt from my students.

1 – To be open minded.

2 – That investing time in building a relationship is rewarding for all.

3 – That showing an interest and listening are valued by children

4 – Even the students who appear engaged have worries and concerns

5 – To never pre-judge a child

6 – That a diagnosis of SEN does not describe the child’s needs or personality

7 – That no stereotype applies

8 – To empathise

9 – How to slow down

10 – That my reactions can determine a child’s future

11 – That school may be the child’s safest place

12 – That we should not attempt to put academic targets over wellbeing

13 – To never heed a child’s reputation

14 – If you are enthusiastic about a lesson, your students will be too.

15 – If you are not prepared to listen don’t expect others to listen to you.

16 – Behaviour does not suffer if you relax!

17 – Student choice must be meaningful

18 – That you will be surprised (constantly)

19 – That high expectations are essential.



  1. “That my reactions can determine a child’s future” is a lesson all teachers learn. For those of us that have been teaching a long time we will be able to recall things we could have done or handled better or differently. Our earliest pupils have grown up now and in my case some have become parents very early on, one died in afghanistan, others went on to follow such a range of careers and had very varied life experiences, good and bad. If we are to be honest with ourselves we’ve all made loads of mistakes over the years, my biggest teaching regret being a school I left and really regretted the decision soon after. I learned during my pregnancy of one of my pupils in the same situation when I saw her name on the midwife’s list. I wished I had been there for her.

    We can forget what a privileged, special job we have as teachers amongst all the hustle and bustle and selfish politics between some staff. All our actions and words are important and they do impact on the future of the kids we are blessed to have in our care.

    My best ever teachers turned out to be my pupils. I love every single one of them and can only thank them for teaching me more than I will ever be able to teach them.

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