Same but different

How are you, or is your approach, different than your favorite teacher?

I find this week’s #youredustory post to be a loaded question. How am I or what I do different to my favourite teacher? In so many ways, we are completely different and I’m struggling to think how we are alike. In terms of similarity, what I keep coming back to is the power of relationships. The teachers who I connected with spent energy building the bond/rapport with me. They took time to get to know me and to use this knowledge to assist me to navigate a variety of learning scenarios and situations. My context for teaching is as far removed from theirs as can be and I am a completely different person to them but what they did teach me is that reaching out and connecting with young people is the key to being a great teacher/facilitator/advisor/mentor and the key to engaging and empowering young people. 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.

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7 thoughts on “Same but different

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  1. Relationships, for sure. I like the way you put it, “… a hand held out just at the right time.” It’s about being there for people, which can be hard if we don’t see the value in the social and emotional domains of learning.

    When I reflect on formative assessment to plan lessons, my new questions point to the health of the relationships in the class.

    Are the students working well together? Does the class still trust me to lead them down a path of hard work toward experiences that pay off? Do they need an exercise to build a stronger relationship between their knowledge and that of the lesson?

    Team building exercises and content games are usual the medicine they need.

    1. Your students are very lucky to have a teacher is so aware of the social and emotional landscape of the classroom. I’d love to hear more about the activities that you draw upon to centre your students. Thanks so much for reaching out and commenting.

  2. I know many teachers say that they were inspired by a particular teacher, but this wasn’t the case with me. I can’t say that any of my teachers made a particular connection with me, but I do remember with affection the teachers who were kind, organised and knowledgeable, and this is certainly how I imagine myself as a teacher.

    1. Likewise Mark, I had a few key interactions that helped me along the way but not any life changing connections. In fact, sometimes I learnt more about how to treat people from the average teachers…i.e. How not to treat people.

  3. The relationships are far more memorable than the lessons. Teachers who took a moment to see how I was managing or what they could do to help me improve my work are the ones I remember.

    1. Totally agree Lois, I often think that the role of the teacher is to provide light along the path of learning. There are times when students need a guiding light and times when they need to figure it out on their own. Those teachers that lit the path for me did it at the right time for me and I remember them for that. Be it fleeting or be it long term, it resonated with me. I know that I have been that person for some of my students and I continue to strive to reach out and build the relationships. Thanks for commenting.

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