By now you’ve either started school or are in serious countdown mode for the first day! I must say, as a person who now works year round (with lots of good vacations built in there!), I do miss the back to school shopping, the classroom set-up, seeing my colleagues after a good summer and all the rigamarole that goes with starting a new school year! The thing I don’t miss is thinking that this year’s kids are SO LOW…I always forgot how far last year’s group had come and it took me a couple of weeks to remember it!!
One thing I really wish that teachers of kids of all ages would remember throughout the year is this: they call it teaching for a reason.
I mean, I hear so many teachers say things like, “Oh, I totally taught that, but my kids don’t learn it!” or “Ugh – I have to explain things so many times!” or “Why don’t they learn it already – we’ve been working on it for two weeks!!!” And when I hear this, I always think the same thing: Isn’t that what teaching is all about: the teaching?
I get that we are inundated with so many responsibilities that are unrelated to directly teaching kids, but the most amount of time we spend each day on the teaching job is spent in the classroom. That means, that we spend most of our teaching jobs working directly with kids. So what gives?
I really encourage you to think about this…
…If the kids got it on the first try, they wouldn’t need teachers.
…If the kids came into a new school year knowing everything, they wouldn’t need teachers.
…If the parents knew how to teach their kids, they wouldn’t need teachers.
…If last year’s teacher taught the kids everything, they wouldn’t need teachers.
…If kids could teach each other successfully, they wouldn’t need teachers.
…If kids could just read the book, answer the questions and pass the test, they wouldn’t need teachers.
What’s the real take-away for me? Kids need teachers.
And teachers need kids who need teachers.
The other big a-ha for me as I work with teachers is that we have gotten into a serious habit of thinking that if kids don’t ‘get it’ on the first or second try, the teaching isn’t working. What if it just meant that they needed more teaching? (Which, in most cases, they do!)
Kids needing more teaching just means that kids need more teaching – it doesn’t mean that they’ll never get it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the teacher is failing. It doesn’t mean that parents don’t care. It doesn’t mean that last year’s teachers failed. It doesn’t mean that the content is too hard.
It just means that they need more teaching.
I mean, what if it really was as simple as that? Would that free us from all the complaining and blaming?