When asked by a new teacher about how to teach, the first thing that comes to mind are the teaching similes: Teach like a …Pirate, Champion, Boss etc. They are catchy and have been used by authors to hook people into reading their books. These books are good reads full of reminders of what great teachers do. Each author takes a different angle highlighting what they found to be meaningful to them as a teacher. I have enjoyed reading many of these books learning many new ideas. These similes help catch the essence of teaching, but what happened to teaching like a TEACHER? (maybe it doesn’t sell books)
Sure the quick comparisons are great but lets really think about them:
Pirates sail around to their own tune with no loyalties, robbing others for their own good. Teachers have to be loyal to their students and districts.
Champions are the best, better than the rest. Accomplished for self/team winning metals by defeating others. Teachers have to work as a part of a large team and collaborate with those on all other teams for the good of all students not just theirs.
Bosses are in charge of every aspect of their company ordering employees to do their will. Teachers know that many aspects of their job is out of their control and work hard to guide students to where they want to go in their learning.
I could go on to all the other “Teach like a” smiles I have found as book or blog titles. (Even teach like a cat?) Teaching is a very diverse and complex job. Teachers need to explore the many ways/ styles of teaching, finding what works for THEM and their STUDENTS. While books are full of incredible ideas it is important to find methods that work for you.
In my experience I have just kept evolving. As I watch and talk to more teachers, I pick up tips and tricks of the trades. Occasionally I am reminded of methods I used to use but moved away from due to my students population but might work for the new students in my class this year. Educators have to remember that judging others from what we hear or passively observe in their teaching style is dangerous. I have observed many teachers instructing in ways I would not teach but it was working for them. I wouldn’t expect teachers to copy my methods. Good teachers have their own unique style.
Teach like a teacher owning your methods.