We all decided to get into education to help change the world and to help children, right? Educationalists (yes, if you are in education, you are one of these) talk about what the role of a teacher and student should look like and be. Being a teacher goes beyond teaching your subject area. What we seem to have a hard time doing is knowing what it actually looks like to “be for a student.”
Have you ever thought about why students like some teachers and not others? Maybe we should say, care for, instead. Let’s forget about the subject matter for the time being. Our goal for our students should be more than imparting our knowledge. We are the last great hope to help develop students and model a mature, professional example while the world gives them all that other stuff and garbage.
As I look at teaching, students might not care about the subject matter you teach, but they do know if you know what you are talking about. I do, however, believe that students think and care about how a teacher shows and provides engagement, emotion, expertise, and just maybe a little entertainment. If you can provide these, then they might just give your subject matter a chance.
If we are going to provide engagement, then we have to have connections with our students. We have to know them more than who they are sitting in a desk or at a table. Also, please do not let the negative “teacher talk” decide how you feel about a student. We must learn to engage all, not just a select few.
If we are going to provide emotion, then we have to have passion, not only for our subject but for our students as well. They have to see and know we care. Let them feel that “vibe” of your personal teaching touch.
If we are going to provide expertise, then we have to have ourselves prepared every day. Students know when we do not know what we are not talking about. Our expertise defines our teaching.
And there might be those times where we need to provide a little entertainment. I like to call it “edutainment.” Yes, it is ok to laugh and make students laugh. It is ok to do a little dance. What a powerful impact we can have by allowing our students time to breathe, and as I have often said in my classroom, “Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.”
We owe it to our students to be for them. We want them to succeed both academically and as individuals. Our focus is to grow the student. How is a student ever going to flourish in your classroom if they do not know you are for them? Find your ease (E’s) of teaching and see the difference you will make.
Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others
©2019 J Clay Norton
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