Friday, November 29, 2013

It's Not What You Say, But How You Say It

     We've got some great teachers in our public schools.

     Some are great because they are warm and caring.  Students like these teachers and they want these teachers to be proud of them.  Students will do just about anything their warm and caring teacher tells them to do, because we all do want to do things for people who care about us.

     Some teachers are great, because they work hard to get to know each and every student.  They learn how each student learns and they understand how each student struggles with their learning.  These teachers are able to find a way to present content to students in a way that the students will understand.

     And, of course, some teachers have both of these attributes--(1) They are warm and caring, and (2) they understand how each of their students' learn.

     Our best teachers know that they cannot make things too easy on their students, because the goal isn't to make students happy (or to merely "get-the-right-answer").  The goal is that the students are learning.  The best teachers know that learning comes with a little struggling--sometimes with a lot of struggling.  And the best teachers are able to allow their students AND to encourage to keep going and not to give up when the struggling occurs.

     "Teaching" is only part of a teachers job.  The main part of a teachers job is making sure that the students are learning.  Some teachers view the "teaching" part as the only part of their job.  These teachers are good at making lesson plans and following through with procedures.  They are good at assigning HW and keeping track of grades.  They are good at doing what they are supposed to do--what they are told to do.  But merely "teaching" and ignoring the amount of student learning that is (or is not) taking place will never be enough to raise their students' abilities.

     The best thing about public education is teachers who do everything they can to help their students to learn.  Thank you to our hard-working teachers.  No job is tougher or more rewarding!

Public Schools and Choice

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