This week’s #YourEduStory prompt is “How are you, or is your approach, different than your favourite teacher?”. I admit I struggled with this one and was interested to read that many others did too. It has however made people think about the qualities of their favourite teacher, so I think I will stay with that idea and perhaps the differences will stand out.
My favourite teachers were people who:
- were not afraid to show their personal side. They connected on a personal level – made an effort to know their students well. They acknowledged the individuals in their class and acted accordingly.
- were knowledgeable but not ‘know-it-alls’. They had sufficient skills and knowledge to guide and direct but not lecture.
- were just. This was a vital trait as there were many who were not and that stuck out as my most negative feeling about schooling. Teachers who punished a whole class for the actions of one or two made me angry and upset and unfortunately it was a common method. Perhaps I am showing my age on this point.
I could not say it better than Steve, who highlights relationships:
When I think back to those moments in my life where a teacher had an impact, it is never really an ‘aha’ moment that pops up but a hand held out just at the right time. I believe myself to be a teacher who does the same. Teaching is not about content but about taking the journey with young people and building rich relationships.
and Andrew who explains how each of us are the result of combining our experiences
I stole and adapted elements from each into my own “teacher persona” – that conglomeration of influences that make us all who we are in the classroom…….And from all of them, I learned the importance of creating a family in the classroom: how difficult that is, and how magical it is when it happens.
I hope I am not too different from my favourite teachers. I know I have opportunities that they did not have but in the end the crux as Steve said is about relationships and that has not changed.
My personal issue with a job that does not give me much time face to face with students or the teachers that I work with is how to ensure the relationships are strong.