This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Posted by Sr Geralyn Schmidt on Dec 4, 2013 in Passion Based Learning, Student Life,Voices | 2 comments Some months ago I had the privilege of attending an education conference for educators from the south central area of Pennsylvania. I have found that education conferences held in the beginning of the school year usually extend the hope-filled message, “This year is going to be great!” The newness of beginnings and the energy that it creates can get easily forgotten as the “work” of teaching quickly becomes apparent. The mud wrestling that teaching involves includes how to engage students that seem uninterested, how to get them to cooperate in the workings of the classroom, and how to prevent them from disrupting others. If one spends any time in front of a class trying to teach, this challenge becomes very apparent. Hearts in our hands When I was a classroom teacher, I was very conscious of the fact that I often held the hearts of my students in my hands. Each finger could press a “heart string” of that young person in order to encourage and uplift and allow them to discover the passion that lies within. Even the most hardened student has a passion that is embedded within their soul. Do educators really realize the tremendous responsibility and honor it is to be in such a relationship with their students? I came upon an article written for ASCD by Larry Ferlazzo entitled, “Eight Things Skilled Teachers Think, Say, and Do which got me thinking about the influence educators have on their students. As I reflected on Ferlazzo‟s message, I came up with my own eight aspects.
My 8 aspects
A collaborative team, not a dictatorship – When I was a teacher of 45 mostly Hispanic students in an inner city school in New York, I reflected during the first week of school: “Why are these students actually listening to ME? Who am I really? An expert? No way! I am a learner just like them. I am just an „older kid.‟” I was not brought up in the city and I‟m not Hispanic. As I result, I needed them to teach me how they thought, what challenges they faced, and what their passions were. I found myself asking them and myself, “Why do you think
My learning disability has given me the core belief that everyone.” On one occasion. we just need to help them discover the frequency in which they can. A captain understands the course the ship has to undergo. It reminds me of an old fashioned radio that you had to tune to find the frequency of the station. I found that my aides did not only help me with technology but also called me out when I was wrong. The story of Warm Fuzzies not Cold Pricklies as well as the Nibble Theory were ways to illustrate that positive words and actions from others can support an individual in remarkable ways – discovering hidden and unknown talents.that way?” This began a wonderful discussion of perceptions that allowed me to understand their hearts. Learning is hard – When we admit to ourselves that learning is HARD and requires much energy on the part of the student. There was an urban legend story that was the rage of this era. can learn. There are no students who can‟t learn. “Boy. after I corrected a student for his behavior in the lab. Because I learn differently. not cold pricklies – I am indeed a product of the 70s. I challenge myself constantly to be positive even when approaching a difficulty. The captain just steers the boat. Recess is the child‟s power nap! Warm fuzzies. But it‟s worth the energy! Being wrong – As a technology coordinator in a high school. I can reach students who also have a difficulty in learning. We all are learners – I am an educator who has a learning disability. no matter who they are. Being positive in the face of negativity takes practice and a definite decision to behave in that manner. The classroom is a ship – This nautical image of a classroom always gets me thinking of the importance of being a “captain” as a teacher. Sister! That was . They need to recharge. It is up to the teacher to discover the HOW of teaching that student. Support of a hesitant learner can assist that individual into venturing out and doing something new. I treated the aides who worked with me as mini “colleagues. I have come to realize that my dyslexia is a gift. just like we do. Negativity is like a poison that thwarts any new growth. And I became a better teacher because I understood them. we are able to empathize. I worked with high school (student) lab aides who assisted me to help teachers and students throughout the school. I teach differently and as a result. He understands that the real steam comes from the people working to get the ship moving.” they would wind up doing anything I asked them to do. I found that even though this approach meant it took longer to establish who was “in charge. my aide remarked.
I came across a YouTube video called. “Giving is the Best Communication. He pulled me aside later and told me how much he was struck by my ability to apologize to a student. New Jersey and New York City.harsh!” I responded. I went over to the student that I corrected and apologized to him. It reminded him of the dignity that each student intrinsically possessed and challenged him to do the same. I had to agree with my aide. Even though this video is not about teaching. The students who sit in front of us today will be the men and women whose characters were shaped in part by events we had responsibility for. One that you don‟t hear as often. these are my eight. Aren‟t we educators teaching students how to become team players? Are we modeling integrity? So.” She has been a high school tech coordinator and graphics design teacher who's also taught middle grades math and science in Pennsylvania.” A warning: find a box of tissues before you listen to this video. In her current position. When we create a positive culture within our classrooms and schools. . but that I have a real passion about. “Really?” Upon reflection. it reminded me that an educator never really knows the good he or she does. is the Wide Area Network Coordinator for the Diocese of Harrisburg (PA). Another teacher was in the lab at the time of this occurrence. we influence the future. You just never know who is watching! Creating culture – Recently. Teaching the integrity skill – There is a plethora of blogs and tweets all about the different skills that today‟s learners need to achieve success in the 21st century workforce. Can you add to my list? About the author Sister Geralyn Schmidt. she is responsible for Professional Development for teachers regarding “all things techy. SCC. is integrity. Personal integrity both in the face-to-face world and the virtual world makes an individual a key player in any team.