Throughout the Teacher for Learning module we’ve explored various types of metaphors for teaching and learning.

Prior learning was baggage. Motivation was drive. Mastery and organization of knowledge are like component building blocks toward a cohesive structure. Self-direction and metacognition are like our own internal GPS signaling our own personal wayfinding.

Now it’s time to put it together considering your own teaching philosophy. What is your metaphor for teaching and learning?

Find a photo or draw a picture that can represent your own metaphor. Narrate why this image represents you and your approach as a teacher.


This activity is part of the Metacognition section of the Teacher for Learning Module.

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107 Responses for this Activity

  • Practically Speaking
    by Jennifer Lee (@jslee)

    Note:  I cannot get the picture to add here = but have included the link below in the text.  It is a teacher on oneside and a student on the other with the captions of ” practical” and theory under each.  in between is a gian lighbulb burning brightly ! While this is not a more… »

  • Metaphor for Learning
    by Darby Anderson (@danderson)

    A metaphor for learning I have often reflected upon is ‘watering of a flower’.  Many years ago when I was taking my Life Skills Certification, one of the key components was ‘feedback’.  Offering ‘feedback’ is like watering a flower.  Without water (feedback) a plant (person) will not grow.  Feedback, even negative, offered with the right more… »

  • My Metaphor
    by Jenn Harren (@j_harren)

    Teaching as a Metaphor The teacher as a coach metaphor speaks to me.  A good coach teaches their players how to practice, manage their time, work with their teammates, and handle adversity.  To bring that analogy to teaching, a good teacher teachers their learners how to apply the material, manage their time/workload, work with fellow more… »

  • Metaphor Activity – Campfire
    by Rob Harrison (@Rob H)

    One of the metaphors I frequently come back to in 0teaching is that of a campfire. Having spent time teaching in Outdoor Education and working at summer camps, this is not only reflective of my teaching philosophy but is also personally meaningful. To me, one of the most important parts of any campfire is creating more… »

  • Teaching and learning is like a garden
    by Sheryl Third (@Sheryl)

    My Metaphor for Teaching and Learning Teaching and Learning are like Planting a Garden Seeds are planted, we water them, we weed  out what is not helpful and we watch them grow!. It’s the process that matters. The Garden is the learning environment which needs some thought and attention. Sometimes after we have tended to more… »

  • Strive for Excellence…
    by Valerie Watts (@vwatts)

    I choose this image/quote as a metaphor for my teaching because it reflects my evolution as an educator.  When I started my career as an educator, I was obsessed with perfection:  from myself, from my courses, from my students.  It was draining.  It was suffocating.  It was completely unrealistic.  And ultimately, both I and my more… »

  • Education as Gardening
    by Rachel Schultz (@Rachel Schultz)

    I had already thought of the metaphor as educators as gardeners before I saw it on the UW website link. There are a variety of styles of gardening to suit the climate and setting – trying to force tropical plants to grow outside in a Canadian winter isn’t going to work, so you really have more… »

  • My Metaphor
    by Brian Percheson (@bpercheson)

    The image I designed, simply a circle with the word student in it, is a metaphor that represents how much I value student-centred teaching in my practice. Student centred teaching is central to me because whenever our class think up class and individual learning goals together, it’s not based on what I think, but rather, more… »

  • Visualizing a computer and understanding how it works.
    by Mamdouh (@Mamdouh Mina)

    The best way to explain computers to students new to the field is to simplify it, I call it translating “Geek language” to “English”. So rather than motherboards, gigs, rams, MHz, Hard drives…etc. The average user needs to understand when computer techs talk to them so this is the best way to relate it to more… »

  • Teaching Philosophy – Community Engagement in the Classroom
    by Wesley Butler (@wbutler925)

    My philosophy of teaching relates to community engagement in the classroom. As outlined in the attached image, creating community among teacher and students is important to success. Along with teaching content and delivering active learning activities, I would facilitate regular icebreakers so students can learn more about each other, and develop an online community with more… »

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