Effective Teachers Teach People, Not Subjects.
In an article titled "An Effective Teacher In Every Classroom" By Kati Haycock and Eric A. Hanushek explicitly makes the same points as Dr. Wong did in his book and video "The First Days Of School" as well as the factors outlined in the Teaching Professional Domains. In the movie Remember the Titans, there is an interaction between two players on the football team. Both players are of exceptional caliber and are leaders in their own right. The player who was actually the captain of the team made a statement to another player with whom he played defense in saying that his attitude was the worst he has ever seen because he was only looking out for himself. The second player (not the captain) responded with these words “attitude reflects leadership…” I firmly believe that the attitude of students are a direct reflection of the teacher standing before them whom they are told is partnering in their success because they will be the person imparting this valuable information to then that they will need to pass or better yet attain a “good” grade.
As an educator, I am of the belief that I or no other teacher give a student a grade, the students earn their grades. However, I also believe and ensure that I as the teacher and the leader of the classroom provide the leadership that will inspire the students to do great things regardless of their attitude at the beginning of each and every class session. The article stated that the teacher must be flexible, communicate clearly, show a good attitude, and exhibit enthusiasm (not in that order). One would think that these are attributes that would naturally be a part of teaching or any instructional experience as these are the factors that make a class exciting and rewarding. The truth of the matter is that it matter not what kind of day the teacher is having…teach with these characteristics as a minimum. Sick people should stay home if they are so sick that the illness prevents them from doing their jobs. It is a false sense of loyalty or dedication when a person comes to work sick and performs poorly and then blames the illness. The Professional Domain: Learning Environment expects the teacher to provide a vibrant and exciting learning environment for the student.
Content knowledge is extremely important, however, teaching knowledge, ability and most importantly desire are just as important because without them no one, especially the student, will care anything about what your knowledge of the material really is. “No student will care how much we know until they know how much we care.” (Author Unknown) And what Dr. Wong was emphasizing in his video is that we as teachers must inspire and we cannot do that if we do not care about the academic wellbeing of “every student.” And, not only care about their wellbeing, but do so as individuals. No one person learns the same way, and the teachers much manage the classroom so that they reach each type of learner comprehensively. I believe that students will not care if the artistic skills of their teacher are horrible just so long as they can understand visually what the lessons are saying.
The bottom line is that we as teachers much hold ourselves to the charge of being educators and not only teachers. We must disseminate information in a way that each and every student regardless of background has an opportunity to understand and then able to apply to the level of their intellectuality the information they are responsible for at the next higher level of their lives even if that is not higher education. The truth is that we must not just teach, but educate through auditory, cognitive, and visual material expression. For the application of information is the evidence of knowledge, and the application of knowledge is the evidence of wisdom, and it is through the application of wisdom that we/they grow and become great leaders.