One powerful characteristic of the inquiry teacher is that they, themselves are inquirers. They ask questions in the classroom. They ask questions of themselves. They model how passions, curiosities, goals and interests can be the start point of learning. And they demonstrate that learning is lifelong and transcends school.
Most inquiry teachers I have met are part of a PLC (Professional Learning Community), a group of educators that regularly meets, shares expertise, and works collaboratively to improve teaching skills and learning of their students. Their professional questioning guides lesson and unit planning, reflection and revision all in the hope of better meeting the needs of their students. Their work is driven by a question and this action research takes their practice to a new and more informed place.
Sounds like powerful inquiry, no?
Students need to see their teachers as learners. They need to see teachers ask big questions of themselves and try on new things in the classroom. They want to see teachers who are passionate about kids and excited about learning.
Think back to your own school experience. Who left an impression on you? My bet is that it was a teacher who cared, who loved their job and who demonstrated a passion for learning.
How do you model inquiry in your practice? Do your students see you as a learner as well as a teacher? Leave a comment below.