At the start of every year I remind my teachers that we can’t take things for granted and assume that our students know things without being taught. Therefore especially when it comes to certain behaviors we shouldn’t assume our student know what the proper behavior is but that we as teachers need to model it and teach it. I don’t remember when I heard this idea nor when I actually believed it was true. I do believe it to be true but I was skeptical at first that anything and everything be taught. Can we teach kindness? Can we teach empathy? I believe we can model it give examples of it and yes for certain grades and ages we can “teach it”.
What about teachers. I have mentioned more than once that you need to lead by example and show your teachers what you want and except. However are there things that can’t be taught?
In the last few days there have been a number of tweets and blog posts about Passion and Enthusiasm, two things which I believe are crucial for a good teacher. However personally I am not sure that these two things can be taught. You either are passionate about what you do or you are not. You either enjoy and love teaching and instill this love and enthusiasm in your students or you don’t. I have heard some say that in the classroom they put on a good act and show enthusiasm. Honestly I think if you do that then you are selling your students short and aren’t given them enough credit. Students know when you truly love teaching and care and love them and when you are faking it.
Do you agree that you can’t teach Passion and Enthusiasm and are there other things we just can’t teach. Please share what you think
I promised myself I wouldn’t get sucked back into the debate about reform etc. I believe my feelings are clear on that. But before we talk about curriculum and before we talk about testing and NCLB or any of the other issues that have come up we need to in the words of Jim Collins get the right people on the bus and the bus pass must only be given to those who are truly passionate and enthusiastic about education and helping children grow and learn.