What I want my teachers to know about me

At the end of last year I asked my Year Four students to record their thoughts on an open Google Presentation

What were the five things that they wanted their new teacher in Year Five to know about them.

Here is the link to our blog with the embedded Google Presentation.

Have a flick through- the kids wrote some fun stuff.

All well and good. I was reading the class blog of new Twitter follower Hineata Blair from Hamilton East School this morning and was thrilled to see that she is intending to use that sort of idea with her class this year. She asked us what were the five things that you would like your teacher to know about you. I wanted to support what she has done for her children by leaving a comment so I wrote my answers as an adult learner to the people who might teach me in a classroom or lecture theatre.

This is what I wrote…

I want my teachers to know that….

  • I want to be inspired to want to learn what they want to teach me.
  • I want them to understand that I might not learn in the same way that they did when they went to school.
  • I want them to know that I want to be connected to other learners, not just the ones in my classroom.
  • I want them to know that I can show my learning in ways that aren’t writing and drawing a poster.
  • I want them to give me time to play, learn and share things that I want to learn about.
How would YOU answer?

Maybe this could be a meme. I am going to tag some people to write what their five things would be. As you write your answers could you share your thoughts in the comments or write your own post on your blog and link it back to this post. Try tagging five other people to do the same and we can see how big this post can get.






Please just leap in and add your thoughts about the way that YOU like to learn and tag others to do the same.

Here is how I constructed the lesson.


32 thoughts on “What I want my teachers to know about me

  1. What an awesome idea Allanah! I love it!
    Here are the 5 things my teacher should know about me:
    * I like fun, and laughter and giggling – I know that I can learn in a fun environment;
    * I like to be challenged and supported – make me take a risk, make a mistake and learn from it PLEASE!
    * I like to have choice about working in a group, in pairs or at times I like to work alone;
    * I like to know that I am a part of all that I learn and I can add to the learning of others;
    * I like to have choice over how I share my learning, sometimes I write, or sing, or draw, or talk, or act and sometimes I like to dance on my chair!
    YAY – I like learning!!!
    Anne K

  2. Five things my new teacher needs to know about me…

    1. I want them to know I need time to try new things for myself, fail and try again. (Explore)

    2. I want to learn about tools that will help my students learn and prepare for their future.

    3. I want to be in charge of what I learn. Ask me “What do you want to gain from being here?”

    4. I want to see that you are enthusiastic about your idea and realistic about what you want me to achieve.

    5. I want a learning environment where I am hooked and want to know more. “5 minutes to hook em, and 55 minutes to cook em” – Kevin Honeycutt

  3. I want my new teacher to:
    -Notice my strengths and give me a chance to run with them.
    -Encourage me to try things I find harder.
    -Inspire me with your own love of learning.
    -Make learning an adventure so I am surprised by the wonder of the world.
    -Treat all of us in the class with fairness and respect.

  4. I want my teacher to know…
    – Who I am as a person outside of school and how to use this ‘outside’ knowledge to adapt my learning and teaching and include it
    – I want to be encouraged to reach my potential because sometimes I don’t see it
    – I like to have choice with my learning and have the chance to make decisions within and for the classroom and my learning
    – I want to be able to show my learning in a range of ways and with a range of people – not just 1 way
    – That I want my teacher to be passionate about what we are doing and know that there is a reason we are learning what we are learning

  5. So, if I was a student… (actually, if you are helping me with my current learning in any shape or form this year, please help me…)

    I need someone to expect more from me… Please see me as what I can be not what I am right now…
    Challenge me and inspire me. I need role models who can help me create a vision about all the possibilities.
    I need to feel valued. My discoveries are a small piece in our community’s learning but they are significant to me and your discoveries can build on mine… Imagine the power if we could take time to share our discoveries and ask “So What?”
    Sometimes I like to work all by myself but other times I LOVE to talk about my ideas.
    When I do talk about my ideas, I love it when someone challenges me with one very simple word…

  6. Awesome idea Alannah!!

    I want my teacher to know…

    – My strengths, and to use these to contribute to the class as a whole

    – My weaknesses, and to help me to develop these (beyond academic strengths and weaknesses!)

    – That I love to know what is expected of me; what the boundaries are and which rules are there for breaking!

    – That I love to learn – I want to be challenged, supported, surprised and motivated

    – That I like variety and choice in my learning

  7. I like to learn by listening, then a short break to stretch. I like to doodle as I listen as it turns other voices or lateral thoughts down a little- it actually means I am concentrating, and turning the social connection aspect off or blocking it. I get embarrassed that everything I have on paper looks messy and scrawly and that people think I cant keep still- but it stops me from going to sleep, and sometimes re envigorates me.
    Funny that now it is ok to tweet and check ipads etc in meetings- i need a doodle app so I look cool too. ( :
    Sometimes I have to talk and that energy has to be allowed out or redirected, so I can be quite again, and the little stem train inside can go whoosh and then carry on. Most of the time I am a normally functioning learner and no one would know these sepcial needs I have! thanks for asking!! ps I also need to scan a whole document quickly before I slowly go over it- annoying aye! I sometimes even like to read things backwards.

  8. This is a grand idea – I will be using it for the beginning and end of year!

    Five things my teacher needs to know about me…

    1. I need you to work with me not against me, this is how we will all grow happily in our learning together.

    2. I need you to give me time to absorb new learning/ideas and a chance to communicate my ideas with you – I sometimes need more time than others to be brilliant.

    3. I need you to recognise how hard I work and share with myslf and others my/our success as individuals, groups or teams – this makes me feel valued.

    4. I want you to take time to support my growth, give me opportunities to continue in my learning journey – without your support it makes it harder to achieve my goals.

    5. I want you to involve me, motivate me, challenge me, inspire me, respect me and treat me like an equal – when this happens I work at my full potential!

  9. What a great idea, Allanah, to extend this reflection to adults as well. After completing more than 30 papers at tertiary level, I can say not one lecturer has ever asked “What are the five things I need to know about you?” I might put my responses into my course profile for this final year. You never know-it might help!

    The 5 things my lecturers should know about me:
    1) I need time to process the information,observe the environment, and gauge the atmosphere before I will take a risk and get involved.
    2) I need to know the relevance of what you want me to learn- how it looks in the real world, and why I should spend my time understanding it.Not everything has to be VERY IMPORTANT, some things should be whimsical and fun too.
    3) I am good at understanding my own learning needs, so give me choices. Some days I want to move to learn, while on other days I will read and write. I will tell you if I need anything, so trust me enough to let me try.
    4) I love to discuss the learning, ask questions, share experiences, and hopefully go off on a tangent. Let our minds wander and create knowledge together.
    5) I enjoy group work and paired activities without the pressure of a high stakes outcome. Let me choose my workmates and develop supportive relationships before the big assignments kick in!

    I enjoyed doing this, so thanks Allanah for the opportunity!
    Megan Brett

  10. This is very cool! I like how it brings us back to our core values of ourselves as teachers. I also like Jazz Rolton’s idea of using it with her class; I, too, will be doing this.

    As a learner, I want my teachers to know that:

    1. I love being motivated and inspired in my learning. When this happens the learning is always
    relevant AND it expands my world.
    2. I want to ask questions and share my thinking. In doing this, I hope to further my own ideas
    and contribute to others.
    3. I want to know that my teachers are learners too and that they are open enough to learn from
    anyone – even me.
    4. I want to be challenged to consider ideas and try new things that are outside of my comfort
    5. I want to know that my teachers are invested in their learners’ learning.

  11. 1. I like it if you take time to ascertain my knowledge and any preparation or experiences I may have on what you are attempting to teach me
    2. I appreciate the use of multi-media
    3. I would prefer it if you said “you don’t know” rather than avoiding my questions
    4. I don’t generally take notes – but when I do it is so I can focus and engage with the material (let me do it – even if you have notes to ‘hand out’ at the end)
    5. Gross generalisations turn me off – humour turns me on

  12. Trackbacks and pings don’t seem to be working so if I come across any posts I will post them here if the owners don’t do it themselves.

    This from Shaun Wood


    5 Things I want my teacher to know about me:
    1. To know to real me, not just the mask I show the world but the emotional me below the surface.
    2. To know about the things that I care about and show they they care too.
    3. To understand my learning styles and provide opportunities to engage me.
    4. To know my passions and help me explore them.
    5. To challenge my thinking but give me the space and freedom to discover my own answers.

  13. 1. Get to know me.
    2. Involve me.
    3. share me with the world
    4. Give me time
    5. Encourage and support me to take risks. Mistakes and failures are my friends.

    What an excellent activity. Thank you.

  14. 1. Find out what I already know and can do and start from there – don’t waste my time and yours by making me sit through things I already know.
    2. Sometimes I understand things faster than my peers and sometimes I need longer – please allow me to set the pace of my learning.
    3. I like to work with others but sometimes I prefer to work alone – make sure I have opportunities to do both.
    4. If I’m put on the spot in front of peers I get flustered and anxious – please provide an environment where I feel safe to
    learn, think, experiment and make mistakes.
    5. Let me ask questions and if you don’t know the answers perhaps we can find out together.

  15. Hi Allanah
    I am going to tackle these questions as if I am a 8 year old. Why – because I remember feeling like I was ‘big’ when I turned 8! 🙂

    5 things I want my teacher to know about me:
    1) I “do” learning really because I want to please my teacher and do what I am told to do. Help me see that learning is important and that I need to do it for myself.
    2) I love working with my friends. Sometimes I cheat so check in on me but when I work with others I learn more things and faster!
    3) I love doing new topics and changing the day around from time to time. Variety is the spice of life and I know this and want it in my class!
    4) I love a teacher who takes an interest in me. Ask me what I did after school yesterday or how my sport is going.
    5) I need to know why we often do things. Purpose is important otherwise I feel like it is a waste of time.

    Oh boy I feel like I could keep going! It is interesting to try and think like a child. I have found this exercise quite refreshing and will use it with my staff as it helps us keep our focus on our kids.

    Great thanks Allanah for the challenge. 🙂

  16. Pingback: 5 Things I Want My Teacher to Know About Me « Education Investigation

  17. Hi Allanah

    Here are my 5 things in response to an invite from Shaun Wood.

    5 things I want my teacher to know about me:
    1. I want choices and the freedom to explore them
    2. I want to feel it’s ok to make mistakes, and ….
    3. I want the time and space to try again
    4. I want to be excited about learning
    5. I want others in the school to know my name

    To continue in the spirit of this meme I invite @jasminedwyer @lindayollis @kellyjordan82 @qldteacher and @JenBearden to continue the meme, either by commenting on Shaun’s blog, or on their own blog or on Allanah’s post.


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  21. Here’s my contribution. I shared it via my blog: http://atthevirtualchalkface.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/what-id-want-my-teacher-to-know-about-me/ but it’s also here:

    If I was a student, I would write:

    I like to fidget and doodle to help me concentrate
    Pictures, diagrams and visual representations of ideas work much better for me than a bunch of text.
    I love being involved in questions that I can apply to my own life and work.
    Let me be creative – if I can switch the way I show what I know around, and if there’s room to do something a bit differently, that’s great.
    I’m a geek – let me stay in the digital world while I learn.

  22. Great idea Allanah!!

    When I was a wee tacker I wish I had had the ability to let my teachers know…

    1. If I have that slightly glazed eye look about me, but I’m not dribbling, then I am well aware of what is going on around me – I am just processing the information you have given me and am trying to work out how I can use it.

    2. I love the past – civilizations, cultures, people and events that have shaped the world I live in. Supply me with little snippets of information and let me fill in the gaps and maybe even share the stuff I’ve found. Help me become an expert.

    3. If I’m chatting to the people around me it might just mean that I’m talking about the same things you are – just in the language or context my friends and I relate to. Or I might just be chatting!

    4. I respect you cause you are my teacher – valuing my input, being interested in who I am and where I come from and ‘liking me’ as a learner and a human being will maintain that respect…not…won’t.

    5. Show me how important my classmates, me, my learning, your teaching and learning are to you and I will be prepared to follow you where ever you take me.

    5 Part 2: Occasionally blow me away with some concept or idea so out there, so beyond my understanding that I want to find the answer or gain the understanding no matter how long it takes.


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  24. Worthwhile challenge to do with our students because it will make them think about how they learn

    I wish my teachers had known this about me

    I like art, I am visual… if you talk at me you will see me doodling in my books
    I can listen to you and do other things at the same time
    I don’t like to sit for long periods of time, I need to move and I do fidget
    If you are telling me something I already know then I will get bored and will look for something else to do
    I like open challenges, pose a problem and let me choose how to solve it

  25. 1. I like to discuss my ideas and hear what other have to say about mine and theirs and build on that, my first comment may not necessarily be my truth but just an idea.

    2. It is hard for me to write what’s in my head and what I know because its all in pictures,on paper it never looks the same

    3. I only know what I know – help me find ways to KNOW more and let me work out or express freely my wondering.

    4.Help me find what I am good at and don’t expect me to know what I want to do with the rest of my life or leave me to work it out on my own.

    5. How you treat me and what happens today in class may impact on the rest of my life

  26. Five things I need my teacher to know about me

    1 I really want to do things, make things and try things not just learn things.
    2 Some of the things you may want me to learn I mightn’t want to. Nor may I see value in doing them. Give me some choices.
    3 I would really like us to take part in some social action.
    4 I don’t want to be limited by standards! I want to achieve things that have never been done.
    5 I can be trusted. If I am this will help me respect you. I can engage with you.

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  28. 5 things I need my teacher to know about me.

    1 My being on myself is not the same as not being social
    2 My learning is not about doing the things your way.
    3 I want to show what I learned on my way, not trough tests I don’t wanna make
    4 My body (by illness) often stand in the way of feeling alright, please accept that
    5 I love to discuss also things not in the curri like politics, let us please do so…

  29. Nice idea Allanah!

    Certainly a great one to reflect on at this time of the year.

    5 things I want my teacher to know about me (or in fact five things I wish my teachers had known when I was ten)

    1. I like to know the relevance of what I’m learning and to understand how the new learning connects with what I’ve learned in the past
    2. I like to understand strategies that help to know what to do when I’m really stuck in my learning
    3. I like to know what success and my next learning steps might look like
    4. I like the opportunity to improve and achieve mastery in the things that I’m good at already as well as work on things I don’t do so well
    5. I like moving around and not having to always learn in the same place

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