Paulo Freire, author of the book “Cartas a quien pretende enseñar” addresses his written work to the teachers. The book is home of ten letters concerning different points about the process of teaching and learning, the characteristics of a good teacher, first day at school, the relationship between teachers and students, the difference between speaking to students and talking to them, discipline, among others.
On the first letter, Freire highlights different points:
Teaching and learning as a process that cannot be separated. He refers to this, as the fact of a teacher learning through their teaching.
Learning is a shared responsibility by the teacher and by the learners. He compares this to the act of reading and writing. He explains that when a person writes, part of their job is to make the written work understandable for the reader. However, is also the reader’s duty to understand what the author is trying to convey by his words. Similarly, he says, one of the challenges of a teacher is to awake curiosity on the students to learn, but also the students have the responsibility to participate on the process of their own learning.
Assessment not necessarily means a passing grade, but a reflection about the teaching process in order to improve it.
I would like to state briefly a phrase which I agree with and which relates to Fraire’s idea about the process of learning and teaching.
‘The teaching is to the teacher, and it comes back most to him’ by Walt Witman. When I finished my studies at university, I thought I was completely ready to face the challenge of teaching. However, just as my short experience as a teacher has lasted, I have realized of all the things I have learnt about. By this learning I do not only mean the things that should be done in a classroom, but the experiences, the anecdotes, the joy, and the lessons (positives or negatives) that students can bring to us.