Who I Am as a Teacher

educationrealist

As I thought about writing specific disagreements I have with reformers, I realized that time and again I’d be having to break off and explain how my values and priorities differed. So I thought I’d do that first.

At my last school’s Christmas party (Year 1 at that school, Year 2 of teaching), the popular, widely respected “teacher at large” showed up an hour late. A PE teacher whose credential had been disallowed by NCLB-wrought changes, he was at that point responsible for coming up with plans to help “at-risk” kids.

“Yeah, I was having all sorts of fun reviewing the Lists.”

“The Lists?” asked another teacher.

“Top 25 Discipline Problems, Top 25 Kids On Probation for Felonies, Top 25 Absentee/Truancy Students, Lowest 25 GPAs, you name it. I look for the kids who aren’t on more than one or two lists and try to reach them before they qualify…

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About teachingbattleground

I teach
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1 Response to Who I Am as a Teacher

  1. A fascinating post. Your description of the exchange with Elijah was so familiar, but I would never have had the presence of mind to initiate the Socratic exchange which culminated in “Because I want you to pass!”. Your point about adopting students’ values and goals rather that insisting that they adopt yours is well taken. I know that not everyone agrees, but I also think that the ability to explain is one of the most important skill of any teacher.

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