Tuesday, September 3, 2013

One Secret to Great Teaching.

Great teachers know the kids they teach!

My senior year in high school, I had an English teacher who was amazing! I refer to her as Yoda...wise, caring, and, minus the green, actually kind of looked like him...

She was demanding, but she was also fun! She introduced us to reading/discussion circles and Socratic seminars before they were called that (Ok...see something else did come out of the early 80's rather than just The Flock of Seagulls and Margaret Thatcher...this is an Austin Powers reference). We brought food and talked about literature.

We read, read, and read more. Some books I truly liked and others I still don't get ...see The Bear by Faulkner. Then we wrote draft after draft. Every time getting feedback that we were expected to use to adjust our writings before they were accepted for a grade. She drove us all nuts with this...

 The coolest thing about her was that she saw each of her students as people.. She knew our names from day one. She used our names. But it went beyond just using our names. She actually paid attention to us. I'll never forget the day that we had a test...I was not feeling well...I was there to take the test...not sure what I looked like...but she said, "Steve, are you, ok?" I ended up going home. Had a 101 temperature. I was out for several days. When I returned...she worked with me to complete the test. She saw that I was sick. 

We are a month into school for some...do you know your kids names? Do you use them in the halls and in class? What do you do to get to know something about the kids you teach? Take some time...its worth it.

One secret to great teaching is getting to know the kids in your classes...