How many of us, when we first started teaching, spoke a different message than we do now? When it comes to teaching, many teachers are “talking” way further down the road, then they are actually “walking.”

The struggle for many is that we are talking so much and in so many areas where students cannot hear our message. Or do they? The contrast of what is heard between not saying something and saying something is profound, and our students are listening.

Any given day, we can point to areas where we know our teaching has not caught up to the truth we are speaking and sharing with others. It is at this point in time we must remember the idealist mission we first started with. I believe the challenge of our message is, “Are we doing right with and by students?” In all humbleness, we teach to grow and serve students to be more and better than they realize they can be.


Deep down, we know what a message of teaching should sound like. We know about pedagogy, methodology, classroom management, best-practices… and since we know these things, we automatically think we have them. But, do we know about teaching the message of kindness, patience, fairness… yes, we know about these as well, but we do not automatically have them.

The message we speak for our students carry beyond the time we have them in class. We can make all the necessary changes here and there to make ourselves better teachers. However, if we do not find a platform on which to stand for our students, and actually hold them accountable and be for them, the platform we stand on is not any better than trying to stand on a 2×4 in the ocean.

Being a quality teacher is teaching a message that gives credibility to others and as a byproduct, credibility to you in return. This message must be part of ourselves and not lip service. Let your “walk” and “talk” catch up with each other.  Everyone will be better for it.

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others

©2019 J Clay Norton

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