Greatest Gift in the Classroom, is Yourself
Teaching is an art…
And there are people who are amazing teachers, and it is not because they can impart knowledge and provide meaningful instructions but because they inspire, connect and engage with young people in a meaningful way and make learning enjoyable.
It is not uncommon for teachers to have fond memories of the teachers who inspired them and who would be described as wonderful educators. However, our role is not to copy them but to identify the qualities that they shared and how they made us feel. These teachers in our past, what was it that they did? How did they go about doing it? How did they show you that they cared for you and the other students?
Once you can identify and answer these questions, it is important for you to look deep within yourselves and ask, what qualities do I posses that can make a difference in my students? How will I make them feel at the end of a lesson, school term or by the end of their schooling.
As an educator, I learnt that bringing the gift of myself, into every classroom was the greatest thing that I could give to every student. What I mean by this is that, whilst I have the knowledge and the skills to teach, I must be real and human in my work. The person the students interact with is the same person that they would meet and greet if they meet outside a shopping mall. This teacher is aware of their strengths and human frailties, they understand and acknowledge that children can make mistakes, and as adults can as well. The classroom is a place of human interaction, where success is acknowledged and failure is a teachable moment, an opportunity for learning.
This teacher is able to create a learning environment, which is safe and secure, that is built on trust and positive learning relationships. Their moods are predictable and they are consistent in their message of expectations. They have a way of engaging young people in a learning process that is vibrant, dynamic, colourful and fun.