When I was studying pedagogy twenty years ago, teaching and learning were a single word, single concept. Then, years later, I found out that these words weren’t inseparable. Now, everything is about learning and, according to some people, it has very little, or even nothing, to do with teaching.
Gee! I wouldn´t be so sure about that. Let me explain myself. Let’s think for a moment that learning is like eating. (I know the analogy doesn’t quite make it, but let’s think it does.) So, imagine that learning is about eating tacos de cochinita pibil. You could eat these tacos standing up with hundreds of flies buzzing around you in any mercado of the incredibly hot Mérida, Yucatán; picture yourself aside a very crowded street with noisy buses passing by, smog everywhere and, because of the heat, you’re sweating buckets. But, you could also be eating the exactly same tacos in Las Mañanitas, the beautiful and fancy restaurant located in Cuernavaca, Morelos, enjoying great weather, in a wonderful garden with water fountains and framed by colorful bougainvilleas, listening to the birds sing, watching all kinds of animals walking around you. Wow! Now, add to the list that you’re sharing your tacos with the person you love the most, you are wearing your favorite clothes, and, by the way, you’re looking pretty good. You are relaxed and happy to be alive. Would those tacos taste the same? Maybe, but the experience -for sure- would be different.
So, if learning is about eating tacos, teaching is about enriching the whole experience of it, making it way, way better, by creating a thought-provoking, eye-opening, motivational and mind-blowing environment. As educators, we can nourish the learning experience with sounds, images, textures, colors, gestures, words and feelings. And, most important, if learning is about making connections, it is about interacting… how about sharing the whole experience?