Greetings everyone, from the busy, busy world of Teacher Sue! School’s been plenty of work, but still very enjoyable! My lecturer made a comment in class today that echoed a thought that has been rolling around at the back of my mind. He said this:
“Sometimes, you can have the finest curriculum, the best facilities and the most up-to-date methods–and still turn out children who are not as well-prepared as they could be. On the other hand, you might work in a less “high-class” preschool, and have excellent results.”
What makes the big difference? What’s the most important consideration?
It’s the TEACHER.
You know the whole series I recently wrote on reading? Let me give you a little surprise. For all that I have said, let me tell you that there actually are students who learn reading with whole language and excel! Yes, and they become good writers and readers, and don’t have problems with spelling… But do you know why? It’s not because of the approach. It’s the TEACHER! They had a good teacher, and that made all the difference. Now, doesn’t that mean that the approach doesn’t matter. Put a good teacher with a good approach and just watch the child take off!
My point? The teachers matter. If you are reading this and you teach (whether it be coaching or tutoring or helping your child with homework), I hope you’ll take this away with you, even if you get nothing else out of this newsletter: who you are as their teacher really does matter. Seriously. The way you bring the subject matter across and whether you care about your students and the information you’re sharing with them does affect how well they learn.
Back in Grade 8 (equivalent of Secondary 2), I had a history teacher who was absolutely FANTASTIC. When he taught history, the museum pieces came alive and walked across the classroom (so to speak!). I never cared much for history… until I had this teacher. He taught history, shared history, lived history. Scratch him anywhere and he’d bleed history. Before long, he rubbed off onto me and I began loving history too!
But there was something else: he loved people even more. He loved teaching young people. He believed that we were worthwhile. He actually invested his time and energy and effort in us. When he talked, I could tell that he wasn’t just talking to be paid. He was genuinely interested in his students. That made him outstanding. And it impacted me. He, is one of the biggest reasons why I’m in education today. He was the one who captured my vision with a passion for people, and helped me to see that a life of caring about others and reaching out to others is so fulfilling, and so worthwhile. It’s been two years since I graduated; but he remains one of my greatest inspirations ever. Okay, enough of that, Teacher Sue! But you do see, don’t you, how much impact a teacher can have. He influenced the direction of my life! And you can do the same.
So my word to you: INSPIRE! Be the best teacher you can be. Be outstanding. Go the second mile for your students. Love them first, and the subject matter next, and you’ll go places most people only dream of going! Have a great rest of the week ahead and make a difference!
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