When Students Mimic

I am a teacher. This is public knowledge.

I am a big fan of using questioning strategies in my teaching. This should be public knowledge.

What I should have seen coming was the day when one of my students decided to use questioning themself.

One of my students is always begging for my help, and then complains when I ask the expected question. She got so frustrated that she actually made a plan to start asking herself, “What would Rebecca ask?” when she was stuck on homework or tests. According to the student, this method has actually helped her out a lot because it forces her to sit and think about what she might be missing, or to be more confident in her own abilities. (I love it when thirteen year olds figure out the method to my wayward madness!)

The other night, though, I was helping a student. Another student at the table asked for the answer to a multiplication fact, and my self-questioning student looked at him and reflected the question right back at him. He realized he knew the answer, and she was quite proud of herself for being like me.

I was proud of her, too. She helped a fellow student without giving him the answer. The whole scene spoke to my love of peer teaching, and I’m actually flattered to have inspired that transaction.

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