I do. I love questions. I love picking someone’s brain for knowledge I may not have myself. I love talking to professionals and seeing what they have to say. Some people call constant questioning “Socratic” or “a sign of higher intelligence.” I’m not sure about that second one, but I’ll ask “why?” and “how?” until I can’t see straight.
Last Thursday, our writing course had the honor of hosting Kelly Burns, the literacy coordinator for the Poudre School District here in Fort Collins. We are a class of preservice teachers, so any chance to actually talk to someone in our chosen field is like talking to a celebrity. She brought with her a stack of books filled with notes and tips on teaching reading and writing. She had packets of curriculum we could study and someday use, lists of resources for us to look up on our own, and tricks she had learned from her days in the classroom. An agenda was written on the board, ready to be carefully followed.
But we did what teachers, especially preservice teachers, do best-we asked questions. We all had one. What do I do when a student repeatedly acts up? How to I make fluency reading about more than just passing a computer test? How do I keep control in my classroom while still maintaining a free and open environment? We asked enough questions to start writing a book.
And our guest instructor answered them all. She told stories from her own classrooms, gave tips from studies and books, explained new techniques that could help us. None of our questions had short and easy answers, but she tackled them all like they were second nature to her. I guess when you know what you’re doing as well as she does, it is second nature to you.
I love talking to the pros. I always feel like I have something to learn. If anything, it teaches me to keep asking questions.