Teaching vs. Learning: Something I Learned

      I can’t recall the particular moment that I learned this.  More than likely the discovery came over time and, like most things we learn, once we learn it, there’s no unlearning or going back.  What did I learn?  That just because I taught it, it doesn’t mean they learned it.  You might be thinking Duh. Believe me, I wish I could have learned this very early in my career, but teaching has really changed over the last 25 years because students and our world have changed.  And I never learned this in my education classes when I was in college.  This was something I learned out of experience and probably a change in state standards, but it did take awhile to sink in.  When it did, my practice changed.
     Now, I teach composition, so there is a significant skill based component to that course.  It’s built for teach, formative assess, reteach and clarify, formative assess, remediate with a few students, assess.  It’s built for returning to concepts, so that the competencies are revisited and revisited, and by the end of the course, students can really bring research and synthesis and citation and format all together to create something of which they can be proud.
     “I taught that” was replaced with “my students learned ______.”