Teacher: It’s not enough to ‘just’ teach anymore

Aug 26, 2013 by

By Hillary Greene –

Chatting with my teacher training adviser, Heather, was like visiting a favorite aunt for tea. Together, we reflected on her copious observation notes ranging from, “Discussion is just the right length,” to “You offer so many ‘ways in’ to the material for these students!” to my personal favorite: “Ignored Sebastian’s bug eating even as class erupted” (an early lesson).

Pretty soon, I would be on my own, away from the seeming utopia of my independent school training ground, and I realized how disoriented I might feel in a new place, especially since I planned to teach in a public school. Before I left the safety of Heather’s guidance, I needed to figure out my teacher identity. I needed to know who Ms. Greene was.

Big Sister Turns Activist

After more observation and discussion, we decided my identity as a teacher grew from my role as my family’s oldest sister and cousin. Knowing this guided me through my first year of teaching. When in doubt, I had familiar guidelines to follow. Would I say to my younger cousin what I’m saying to this student? Would I be disappointed in my sister if she gave me an essay like that one? If it wouldn’t work for my family, then it wouldn’t work in my classroom.

When I asked Heather to help me discover my teacher identity, I didn’t realize what a crucial question that was. I also didn’t understand that the question of who I would become as a teacher was far from resolved.

via Teacher: It’s not enough to ‘just’ teach anymore.

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