Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Is the Job of a Teacher 24/7

I haven't blogged for a while and have been thinking about what to blog about. I am jealous of all of those in my PLN that blog daily and sometimes more than once a day. After thinking about this for a while I decided to put my thoughts down on "paper".

Today we talk about child centered learning and the teacher as a facilitator to learning and allowing students to drive the learning with their questions. They are right and this is a major part of the role of the teacher in the 21st Century and it must change from the Sage on the Stage model.

However I believe that this is only part of the role of a teacher. A teacher needs to be a leader and a change agent. We may not be able to change the world or accomplish everything but as it says in "Ethics of our Fathers" that doesn't mean that we could just absolve ourselves of our responsibility.

It doesn't end there to me the most important thing teachers need to do or be is a role model. One who leads by examples in a moral and ethical way. Their motto should be "Do as I Do."
They need to show their students that they care about them not only in the classroom but out of the classroom as well.

I posed the following question as one of the possible topics for #jedchat

Is the the role /job of a Rebbe( Judaic male teacher)/Teacher 24/7 (ie are they expected to attend a school basketball game on Sunday)?

I think you could tell what I would say!

What do you think?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Just Be Honest - Be Yourself


In almost everything you read today about leadership you read about the importance of Transparency. To be honest the concepts scares some people. How can a be completely open and honest? Another common idea/question is How can I be open if that happens I will loose control.

I would argue that actually by being open and honest you gain respect and build trust amongst those that you lead.

Many times people think that his concept is reserved for corporate leaders and those that lead adults. I would argue that since all teachers are leaders therefore teachers need to be open and honest with their students. The top down approach to teaching " Do it because I am the teacher " should be some thing of the past.

I also believe that by being open and honest we actually build trust and respect with our students.

How can we do that. Perhaps the answer is just Be honest and be your self. Here is a short story that happened to me recently.

Editors Note: The purpose of the story is not to brag but rather just to show the importance of being honest.

Ar a recent Bar Mitzvah ( a celebration when a Jewish boy turns 13) I was asked to speak. This class has a boy that has physical challenges. In my speech I mentioned the Talmudic saying "That I have learned the most from my students" and that I learned from this class how to accept all students and that I was actually a bit scared before teaching this class, but after seeing how they just accept everyone made it easier.

My teenage daughters said to me " You really learned something from your students, and you admitted it" I said Yes it was true.

Truth of the matter is that I just said it without much thinking but realized afterwards that perhaps students aren't used to the fact that teachers can be ( and should be) open and honest.

If we treat our students and for that matter everyone in our lives with honesty and respect we will be treated with respect in return.