Encouraging Words to Educators

Teacher’s Note to Self

A teacher shows, points out, instructs, and trains. To teach is to present, to offer to view, to show the way, to direct, to conduct, to guide, to refer, to move toward a particular direction. Teachers identify what needs to be done, what ought to be achieved, and what is to be observed; teachers appoint, lead, and convey. Teachers provide explanations when necessary and know to hold off when they see that learning can take place on its own. Strong teachers recognize when students are in need, effective teachers respond to needs promptly, and persuasive teachers seek understanding by genuinely communicating with students.

Observe the room…acknowledge the needy…promote the student as he or she works at his or her own pace by identifying a defined pace for which all should aim—know when to push, when to back-off…see the lost, the frustrated, the busy, the certain, the confident, and the insecure. Recognize the room and verbally reward the good you see…persuade all to become better by acknowledging the effects poor work has on the student progress; define and illustrate what poor work is but be respectful.

No matter how disrespected you may be or you may feel, walk with authority and remain calm, for the way you carry yourself, your disposition, teaches and speaks beyond your words. Remember, there’s no need to demand that which you already have: authority, presence, knowledge of the subject, you have these or you would not be here. Now, teach with certainty of your own role and function to serve even when that role seems unclear to the students around you.

The use of technology threatens to strip the significance of any teacher who fails to acknowledge, reconsider, and adjust his or her presence in the classroom; even the most sophisticated computer program is not capable of teaching students on its own—the movement from knowledge to understanding requires the presence and instruction of a teacher. When students learn at their own pace, a teacher should still guide the class to meet defined expectations…in an “at own pace” context, this guidance will take shape in the teacher’s use of elocution, rhetoric, and context. To give any new program and curriculum a genuine opportunity to educate students, teachers should approach the changes and their own classroom strategies with an open-minded willingness to evolve and to adapt—check your own attitude and ask if the attitude is one you would like your students to have…if not, adjust.

Teachers are like actors, an excellent one knows the role, is quick with improvisation, always able to evolve and willing to adapt in order to capture the scene; versatile but not shifty…flexible but always true to his or her own character…every moment, each word and action, a teacher moves his or her audience to recognize the theme. Consider the curriculum and the technology the director and the script…YOU, however, are the one who gives life to the moment, purpose to the scene, and quality to the experience. As you seek to serve students, appreciate teaching as an art rather than a science, and value the presence of voice as more than the uttered word.


Ashley Y.

English Tutor, Composition-Grammar-Lit.-Lang Arts

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