I had to take a minute to write this entry as a type of “shout out” to not just the teachers at Seekonk High School, but all teachers everywhere who continue to let their passion for subjects and students show. Ok, so maybe it really is slanted towards teachers at SHS, but who can blame me? In all seriousness, I have been thinking about teachers quite a lot recently for a number of personal reasons and it is clear…they all make a difference one way or the other. That is why it is important to recruit good teachers, keep them, and be around as they become great! Watch the two videos that follow…they get my point across.
This first video is by someone who is far more capable than me of delivering a very important, complex message in a simple way…
Now ask yourself…what am I teaching? Kids learn whatever we teach whether it is good or bad. Are we showing kids that education is a drag that has no real world connection or are they solving relevant problems and asking sophisticated questions that instill a sense of wonder and discovery? The teachers that Kid President is talking about sure are doing the latter. Teaching is hard, but the most important job anyone ever does. There are many people who condemn teachers as not working full years, being overpaid, and having it easy. I wonder how many of those people have ever taught. How many of those people are the first to dance when summer is over? How many are tired after one week’s vacation?
Take a look at this Ted talk by Rita Pierson. It is seven minutes long and titled: Every Kid Needs a Champion. Think about it. Are you a champion to a student?
Teachers are needed:
· Students learn best when they build a relationship first.
o School isn’t about just the subjects; rather it is about opening doors of opportunity for a future that is yet unknown.
· Because not every student is easy.
o Teachers must teach students who fight back at every turn.
· Because there are many kids who just need somebody.
o Teachers must teach students living in unimaginable circumstances.
· Build that relationship
· Seek to understand circumstances
· Discover the root of opposition
· Above all teach as if a life depended on it...sometimes it does.
I didn’t write this as a lesson for teachers as much as a thank you to those who work in an age of increased negativity, demand, paperwork, and accountability.
You continue to teach:
· even when it gets hard to see the point
· even though there are times you feel unappreciated
You continue to teach because who will these students look up to and how will they learn if you don’t?
As far as Seekonk High School…I walk by rooms and hear teachers talking about how to get better. I see students engaged with lessons about life and how to be better. I see students solving problems, asking questions, and learning. Most importantly I see teachers working with students as if what they are doing is the most important thing at that moment…and…it is.
Take some time today and thank a teacher!
Thank you to all teachers and welcome back! May you have a fantastic year!
Here is one last (short I promise) video to make you laugh (hopefully) for the rest of the day! You all deserve it!