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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: More Thoughts about Teacher Appreciation

"The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate 'apparently ordinary' people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people."
K. Patricia Cross

I found some wonderful quotes that talk about teachers. Since I'm knee deep in Teacher Appreciation preparations and work, I thought I would share some additional thoughts on those who teach our children.

One thing that I took away from my own teacher training was from a very wise professor. He said teaching and having children is similar in one respect--if it isn't illegal or immoral, you need to let it go. Case in point, he was having trouble with a fashion look going on at his son's school. He hated it because it was that 'clash' phase of time for young children. Just because the look was ugly didn't make it illegal or immoral. That idea has served me well in parenting.

The other thing he taught us was that as a teacher, it isn't your job to know the answers to the questions. It's your job to teach the students how to find the answers for themselves. Khalil Gibran said, “The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” In my mind, this simple thought is the distinction between average teachers and great teachers. In another quote, Thomas Carruthers says, “A good teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.”

When I did my teacher aiding, I learned some valuable lessons from the teacher I was partnered with. She was a free -spirit who left the stage to teach. An amazing woman who was overcoming great physical challenges at the time I worked with her. She believed that anything dull can be made interesting when teaching. She worked with me to teach the history of theatre...and make it interesting to high school students. She taught me this saying from Gail Godwin, "Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theatre." And with her help, we had more fun learning about the history of theatre than I had ever had in my life. We did everything from mock Shakespeare to chants of a shaman. It was so popular and the kids had so much fun that we took three days to cover what was to be a one day topic.

As we continue to thank teachers this week, I'm leaving you with some of the best quotes I found on the web. You can find these and more at this site.

“A good teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.” Thomas Carruthers

"Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers." Josef Albers

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Henry Adams

“Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task.” Haim Ginott

My final thought is the the following. I agree wholeheartedly. I can barely keep charge for 20 minutes during a Valentine Party, can't imagine every day of the school year.
“If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job.” Donald Quinn

Thank you, teachers!

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