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.
4 thoughts on “Teachers”
I can understand your issue with not having face to face time with students. Last year I had a grade 2 for two days each week and so enjoyed the opportunity to form that close relationship. It had been a number of years since I’d had my own “grade” and I’d forgotten how special and rewarding that relationship and getting to know students really is.
Great post Celia, I think that your three key qualities are right on the money. I remember two teachers in particular who taught the same subject at my school. One was considered a genius but treated everyone like they were second rate citizens and was so unjust. The other was knowledgable but empowered you to seek for yourself, was as just as they come and reached out to students. I remember even in Year 10 that the way he treated people and made me feel as a person and learner was the way that I felt was right for me and for others. Thank you for the shout out, #ittakesavillage
In true Celia fashion you have hit the nail on the head. Relationships are critical to everything. It doesn’t matter how connected and knowledgeable you are, if you don’t develop relationships you limit your ability to inspire, to educate and to be just.
So true Celia that the best teachers connect on a personal level. I remember my favourite teacher – Mr Skavinski – was so much fun but fair and reasonable. Relationships are so important as you pointed out when you commented on my own blg post. Thanks for your insight 🙂