Racing to The Margins

What are the margins?

Merriam-Webster’s definition of “margin” is. “the part of a page or sheet outside of the main body of printed or written matter.” This definition fits perfectly with what it means to teach in the margins. Teaching in the margins means going outside of the norm, or traditional way of teaching, to be able to explore the margins; outside of the box.

How do we teach in the margins?

As Dr. Ann E. Haley-Oliphant wrote, “our goals as teachers should be to make science as interesting, personal, and relevant as possible to our students”– heres’s a few ways for us, as teachers, to ensure we take our students to the margins:

  • Encourage student to ask questions, rather than just answering them.
  • Show them how to use what they’re learning and connect it to life outside of the classroom.
  • Allow students to lead discussions and form their own opinions.

As these three points defy most everyone’s schooling experiences, this is a wonderful thing; for both you, and your students! By encouraging to ask questions, leading discussions, and showing them how to use what they know, you’re setting them up for great success in and out of your classroom. By teaching in the margins, students will start to live life in the margins.

What makes teachable moments, teachable moments?

Most often, teachable moments are something that can happen at anytime, and completely unexpected. During these teachable moments, it gives teachers an opportunity to give insight to their students– these moments don’t always have to do with your class or even school, many teachable moments are about life and experiences. These moments come completely out of the blue, maybe while you’re teaching, demonstrating, or having a class discussion; these moments are totally unplanned for… These are opportunities that we don’t want to miss and we should embrace them when they happen!

“Margins are connecting bridges for the environment of he classroom.”

-Dr. Ann E. Haley-Oliphant

What makes a good teacher great?

In the TED Talk below, Azul Terronez, is curious to find out, what makes a good teacher. Throughout this video, Terronez talks about how we need to learn with our students– a great teacher isn’t always in the classroom. Our students want to see us learn in margins; where we aren’t just lecturing, and acting like we know absolutely everything. I believe this video provides ways for us to be in the margins with our students and how to connect with them on a personal level as well!

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