A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

All Teachers are NOT Equal

So I was looking at a resource suggested on Twitter and then started searching the publisher's website for more jewels and found this professor.

I don't know much about him other than this. And this. But he has me thinking. (Always a dangerous thing.)

I watched the TEDTalk above and found it intriguing. Of the two takeaways I gathered was the notion that we expect new teachers to be experts in a way we ask very few other professions. That leads me to my wrestling point number one:

What are schools doing to encourage and train young women and men entering the profession? I was lucky as a change of career teacher. I found other teachers who mentored me and I was mature enough to accept their help. I read the books they suggested and used them as a sounding board when things went well and when they, as often as not, didn't. My ability and experience with students was enough initially but my bag of tricks was exhausted within the first semester of school. Teaching young people in the classroom is different than pastoring them, or working with them in civic organizations, or even as a guest lecturer in the classroom. Thank God for those teachers and administrators who helped me be better in the classroom as I got my bearings and gained the experience and confidence to manage for myself.

That lead the second takeway: not everyone is excellent at Day One. That lead to the next rabbit trail:

 What do we do for those who aren't excellent at day one, but have the drive and potential to be great teachers?  Again, I was lucky to trip into a professional development person for an organization who saw potential and drive. He showed me how to translate 15 years of working with kids in the real world to the classroom. What I didn't know about pedagogy and content didn't bother him. What he said was, "You know what to do in the classroom, you just don't know why and how to explain it." and, "Content isn't the problem, its wading through all the information you could teach to find what you should teach." (BTW-That problem doesn't ever change as a teacher.)

As that person transitioned out of education, I was lucky enough to trip into a group of professionals who serve that function for me now. They challenge me to be a better teacher. They expect me to be a better teacher and they expect me to expect the same from them. You will notice that that sort of environment makes for the best teacher, according to Dr. Hattie's research. Teachers challenging themselves to be better. Not for PD points. Not for a 'teacher vacation'. But, how can I make myself a better teacher for my students?

No comments:

Post a Comment