Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Joe Novak had asked that I post some comments for students, but I would also like to post some comments for teachers. Teachers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some people are even teachers without knowing it. I'm reminded of a friend's father, who at the age of 92 would go out to the yard and exchange his walker for the lawn mower. He needed something to keep from losing his balance, but he wasn't going to give up on caring for his lawn. He taught countless others through his example. In fact, some regarded him as an inspiration.

There are many factors involved in teaching, and while some administrators and politicians would like to think of teachers as one size fits all and easily adaptable to the delivery of a scripted and rigidly controlled curriculum, each teacher is in fact unique. Each comes to the job with life-learned skills, interests and expectations. Each has a deeply ingrained personality type which will make him or her better at certain jobs than others. The diversity of teaching styles and personality types can make a more creative and meaningful school life, and have greater potential to serve a wide range of students. A good school will help to engage students in more than just books, passing tests and getting on to college or a career. It should interest and empower them to become citizens capable of understanding diverse personalities, and help create in them a better understanding of themselves.

Tomorrow, or later today, I hope to go discuss some of the various aspects of teaching, and the diverse and important qualities that teachers bring to their schools.

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