Pause to Learn…
What’s amazing about teachers?
One aspect of teaching that most people do not think about is that a teacher is “LIVE” every minute of the day. Whether teaching high school/middle school hourly or block classes of one or two subjects, or whether teaching elementary classes of all subjects, the teacher is in the spotlight, live for each subject. That’s not saying the teacher is the center of attention via lecture, but every moment, the teacher in the classroom is “LIVE” to guide the class or groups, monitoring and providing feedback for the learning (see this Universal Design for Learning Grade 5 Language Arts video as an example.)
And when not actually in a classroom, teachers meet with other teachers, meet in staff meetings, meet for professional development, and meet with families — all of which expect active participation.
That’s it. Beyond a thirty-minute lunch period, a teacher is actively involved in learning management. And focused involvement with students occurs most of the day. Some teachers receive one prep period in addition to the half hour before and after school, which is reserved for family communication, staff meetings, and lesson preparation.
Play to Learn…
A great blog read is Bircher’s Banter from which the ideas in this post derive. In his post, “No Matter What–You’re Live,” he reminds new teachers that everyday, no matter what, they are LIVE in the classroom. To be effective, a teacher must take deep breath and be prepared for “Ready, Set, Action.” As this principal says, “Each day you are expected to have your “A” game. When you do not deliver, you usually hear about or realize it. Reflective practitioners know this instantly.”
For those thinking about teaching as a career, you may want to think about this, too: If the teacher is “LIVE” with students most of the day, when does the planning, assessment development, grading, differentiation for each student, and documentation occur? A teacher may teach 120 middle or high school students each day in one or two subjects. An elementary teacher teachers 20-40 students in each subject each day. That means teachers don’t just work from 9 am to 4 pm. Most often, the prep periods fill with family conferences, tutoring, and staff collaboration, so the “paper work” of teaching occurs outside the school day so you can be “LIVE” every moment for the learning of the students.
That’s what’s amazing about teachers; “The number of interactions each day with students, staff, parents and community members are significant…the fact that day in and day out – you’re LIVE!” Every minute.
And everyday, they plan for that before they arrive in the morning. Given the daily barrage against education and teachers, how about an apple for your favorite teacher today? And to all the teachers I know, here’s one for you:
Please feel free to pass this Apple 4 Teachers badge to teachers everywhere.
Flickr CC Math Meeting Board