This summer I have had the joy of not only running daily but also walking my dog daily, while my children slept in. While doing so I have grown quite accustom to listening to the Ted Radio Hour. It features 4 different speakers who have given Ted talks and covers one specific issue in an hour. I learn so much from listening to these podcasts. The most recent one I listened to was the unstoppable learner. I can’t remember the name of the teacher who was featured on this episode but I loved her attitude! She talked about how important it is to encourage your students. Teachers have to believe in the student and let them know they can achieve great things. She talked about a time when one of her low preforming students missed 18 questions but had 2 correct. The student was very young and had tried his best. She put a +2 and a smiley face on the paper. The student approached the teacher and said, “but I missed 18, why a smiley face?” The teacher responded you didn’t miss them all you must be on your way. Besides next time you will do better, right? She is so right!
She also talked of her experience trying to teach the teachers the importance of encouragement and helping the students to learn. One teacher told her, “I am here to teach students not to like them!” Her response, “Students don’t learn from people they don’t like.” I am sure I learned some Math facts from teachers who I truly despised but I know I learned more about life and how to be a good person, to strive for unbelievable dreams from teachers who cared about me as a person.
As a teacher I am here to teach, not just the content of the textbook, but how to learn the important things in life; how to love, cooperate, create, respect, speak, listen, and to care for one another, self, creation, and God. My relationship and the way I treat my students teaches every one of those concepts. Think back over your education what teachers stand out as the best you ever had? Did they care the most, were they fun, kind, and actually cared for you as a person? High test scores do not prove your teaching is successful, what the student learns about life is the most important aspect to me.