|How do you become the teacher with the beautiful|
red apple and a cup of pens and pencils on the desk?
As I begin this work again, I am remembering again the conversations I've had with those who are beginners. I am fortunate because these young want-to-be teachers are already digging into teaching, working alongside the students, one-on-one or in small groups, "feeling" the movement of the day and the week, kid-watching. They come with questions, but also have seminars one afternoon a week, keep daily writers' notebooks of observations and wonderings, write papers about various topics every week. From what I remember, they're doing a lot more than I did during my "student teaching" year.
Yet, I wonder things, and this has nothing to do with the person with whom I'm now working, but it's a "generic" wonder. How does one teach another to teach? Don't we all have our specific and unique character as a teacher? Is this part of what makes a teacher good, figuring things out through doing, down "in the trenches"? What is one important thing that you believe helps you, and others, be good teachers? Of course, knowledge of content and procedure is a given. Yet there's more, both elusive and personal. Here's my top ten. I imagine they need no explanation. Do you have one you would add?
- Love the kids.
- BE with them. Don't always worry about what's next, just enjoy what's happening NOW.
- If you can't tell your students what it is you're going to teach them, and then how will you (and they) know if they've learned it?
- Love the parents.
- Discover a passion to share with students, and share it with them often.
- Discover their passions, and let them share with you, and others.
- Feed them!
- Shut up and listen.
- Smile (laugh)-a lot.