I Want to Teach Like That

Inspire ThemSome days I need a reality check.  I get so caught up in trying new tech tools, planning 1600 project ideas, wanting education, all of it, to be better, now.  I rush around my classroom, getting kids started on this and finished on that.  I keep going, moving, rushing.  Doing stuff.  I have some big idea in my head of the “Ideal Teacher” and I work like crazy to teach like that.  I get all caught up in what I’m doing.  Trying to be a better teacher for them. Constantly.

So I pause and play a game of chess with a kid.  We have a conversation and talk about their day.  We talk about their dog, Snoopy.  I listen to them talk about an invention they’ve been dreaming of.    Or, I roam over to a computer where a kid is researching medieval castles and we talk about White House Security and how that contrasts with medieval castle security.  Another kid tells me about the pattern he found in his design. A pattern nobody else saw, not even me.  I listen to their thoughts, share some of mine.  Moments. Building relationships with kids.  Learning together.

What if the person whose going to inspire us to be a better teacher is a kid in our classroom?

I want to teach like that.

  1. I love that you wrote this–it encapsulates so much of what teaching is like these days. There is so little time and so much to do that we rarely enjoy the luxury of listening to each other. And because of that, we’re missing so much! I’m so glad you had those moments with your students. And I’m positive they were better for those moments, too.

  2. I was inspired by your message to share an experience I had with one of my students which pushed me into my world of technology.
    When the computers first arrived at my schools most of the teachers (me included) panicked! I had no idea how I was going to cope with that little box and screen that now was given an “honorable section” at my school in the lab. Needless to say I was apprehensive and puzzled. Even my principal herself felt helpless. Change is never easy for anyone.Fully aware my 6th graders are part of the computer generation; my thoughts led me to ask the class to recommend one of their classmates to spearhead our computer project. Surprisingly, they all recommended a boy named Avishai, so I decided to ask for his assistance. I suggested that I teach him extra hours after school in order to improve his English. In return he would teach me computer skills. He immediately agreed and to my delight Avishai received a 95 on his next English test! (I didn’t learn as quickly about technology!)

    The novelty of remaining after school was beginning to wear thin for both of us I and asked him if he were willing to give up the extra hours of English since he had improved so much and I was so proud of his accomplishments. I said, “Maybe you don’t need the English lessons anymore.” He said,” I don’t need the English lessons but you still need the computer lessons. You have not yet received a 95! After Avishai’s instructions and then taking several courses, I realized I needed to advance my students and myself towards the world of tomorrow, and not educate them for a world that no longer existed.
    I believe that my students have influenced me many times more throughout my 32 years of teaching, thank you.

    • Marsha:
      Thank you so much for sharing this story with me. You are so very right, our students DO influence us sooooo much. It is so wonderful to hear, that even after 32 years of teaching, this is STILL true. You’ve just inspired me!
      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment,

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