Monday, October 5, 2015

Reprise-with Footnotes

             Slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community is a pleasure each week.  Thank you Stacey, Tara, Anna, Betsy, Dana, Kathleen, Beth, and Deb.

     Last week I asked a question, and many of you--marvelous teachers all--responded. Here is the  paragraph of my "wonder" repeated.


           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.     
When does a teacher figure out that holding an insect is an
important thing to do in front of students? Or is it?



           Here is the top ten I shared last week, with the thought-filled additions from the comments in blue. The addition in dark red is from today.

  • 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.
  • Make every decision with your students in mind!! Do what's best for them. Be authentic and share yourself with them.
  • Honor the parents as their child's first teacher.
  • Recognize that a learning disability does not define a student but add to his uniqueness.
  •  Make sure parents tell us as much as they can about their child.
  • See their (the students') side. Remember their perspective.
  • Be flexible. Go with the flow and adjust plans on the spot.
  • Observe closely, to look for the unspoken messages that kids wish we would read.
  • Learn together with them.
  • Have a sense of wonder to your lessons.
  • Be brave and take risks as you all learn together.
  • Be the guide on the side, not the sage on the stage.
  • A hunger to keep learning (about teaching, about your content, about people, about life)!
  • To be a good teacher you have to have your heart open to reach the kids, yet at the same time you have to learn ways to protect it. I also wonder whether some of what we understand now we were not ready to understand at the beginning of our teaching journey.

         If you have more to add, please share in the comments! Thank you to everyone who added their ideas last week!

26 comments:

  1. I found myself just enjoying the wonder shared by others on your list .. listening (and reading as listening) is a wonder itself ...
    Kevin

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    1. Yes, I enjoy each one's unique perspective, too, Kevin. Thanks!

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  2. As I reread the list, I think about really knowing the kids. Conferencing with them yesterday reminds me that sitting down and having a conversation with a student helps so much. Hard to do when there's a million other things to do, but essential. Thanks for asking and collecting and sharing!

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    1. And in addition to talking with them so one can teach them, it's just fun to be talking, too. Thanks, Michelle.

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  3. I love this list. I just read through it twice. I can visualize each one and wish this list was sent to every teacher and administrator and political and Bill Gates.. How can we make this work in every classroom? What's standing in the way?
    BRAVO FRIEND!!!
    Bonnie K.

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie, ha, especially Bill Gates, right? Making each work in every classroom is something to imagine and to make happen.

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  4. Great list. It will be interesting to see what else is added.

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    1. Thanks, Bernadette. I look forward to that, too.

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  5. This is a wonderful list, Margaret. I'm going to print it and keep it in my coaching binder, as these ideas are reminders for all of us and not just new teachers.

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  6. What a wonderful list. Something to return to on those days you don't know what to do.

    Did you see Elisabeth Ellington's post this weekend? https://thedirigibleplum.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/celebrate-the-kid-who-wont-celebratelu/
    Celebrate the kid who won't! You'd love it.

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    1. Yes, I saw it, Julieanne, & it touched me personally. What she wrote should be shared with many. Thanks for reminding me.

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  7. This list should be given out to every new teacher (and some old ones as well). I think we need to be reminded of what is important and reflect on if what we are doing is what is best for our students. Thanks for compiling and sharing this list.

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    1. You're welcome! I enjoyed thinking about each one as I put it together. Wouldn't it be lovely to share with many more?

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  8. This is a good list and unfortunately, has very little to do with what is taught in the college education curriculum from what I've seen lately.

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    1. I had the good luck to work with a wonderfully thoughtful teacher in my student teaching so long ago, Jane. She certainly taught me more than most of the classes. I would wish that things were changing. . .

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  9. I wonder how a young teacher would respond to this list. I have thought of a young teachers in our building and I wonder how to help her build resilience and make sure she takes care of her body, mind and heart. To be a good teacher you have to have your heart open to reach the kids, yet at the same time you have to learn ways to protect it. I also wonder whether some of what we understand now we were not ready to understand at the beginning of our teaching journey. Just wondering along. Your provocation keeps me thinking. Love it!

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    1. And I will add your thoughts, Terje. Experience year by year, & thoughtful engagement with others helps too. Thanks!

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  10. I am sorry I missed your post last week! I love that what I would have said (Be with the people--be all-in, in the moment) made the list anyway. I wonder what you wonder too and I've been thinking about how we do all have our own unique teacher characters. A teacher at my school said, "No one likes to be told what (or how) to teach." True enough. We don't often learn from the telling anyway. Sometimes it makes the teller feel better though (I think as I reconsider my own slice from today). Doing is the best teacher. Sometimes a little nudge gets us going. Thanks, Linda.

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    1. Yes, that authentic "being" with the student(s) is key, at least to me. No, I guess people don't like to be told what or how to teach, one must find one's own, is it "flavor", yet there are good words/advice to share with those who want to be teachers. Perhaps as Terje said above, just not all in one helping. Thanks for your thoughts, Lee Ann.

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  11. I hear so many teachers complain about parents. I see you have three points about parents, including love and honor. What would happen in our conferences and interactions with parents if we always loved and honored them? Thanks for continuing to grow your list.

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    1. I've enjoyed seeing what everyone shares of their own special priorities. I've thought it more difficult now that e-mail is used rather than phone calls. When there wasn't e-mail, I called parents often, & we had good conversations about their children but also just between us, & they became friends, I feel it's so important. Thanks Margaret for your thoughts, too.

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  12. I love that you took your list and added the thoughts of your commenters. What a wonderful collaboration. Thanks, Linda!

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    1. It was a pleasure. I loved all the additions too. Thanks, Ramona.

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  13. This is a terrific list, Linda, and one that includes many points made in all those sessions I was at last week. I especially love your last idea about having an open heart, yet finding ways to protect yourself. Thank you for sharing this wisdom!

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    1. Thanks, Catherine, but remember the last idea isn't mine, from Terje, & it was especially nice to have to cap off the list!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!