I believe one of the hardest tasks as an educator is to foster in students a drive for deep learning. From an excerpt of his personal memoirs, Richard Feynman wrote about his experience as an educator and the discovery that his students were being taught to memorize rather than understanding content. Having administered tests with multiple choice questions, I know that the efficient purpose of standardized testing relies on rote learning from my students.

On the other hand, the expectation of students to activate higher order thinking skills requires extra mental energy and time. The expectation for both the teacher and the student increases dramatically. To convince anyone to go above and beyond their comprehension is not an easy matter. There must be a “sensible” reason to pursue this form of deeper understanding, as Feynman would say to his students: “it is our contribution to the improvement of the human condition”. A deep understanding of your subject matter will make you responsible for what you’ve learned as you inevitably apply your learning in the real world. Ultimately, deep learning and understanding governs you and the world you live in.

I am presented daily opportunities to improve every facet of communication with my students. This commitment to my students has motivated me to constantly think about learning and teaching strategies. From learning and relearning subject matter to planning task differentiation, I’ve gained a better understanding of the support needed of a developing mind.