Good Advice from a Beginning Teacher
The article written by Brendan Clarke for Yes! Magazine is superb and stands well on its own. There really is no need to summarize or add any emphasis of mine. But merely posting it on my blog is not my style, so I will add a few of my own comments and observations.
Brendan summarizes his advice for new (and not so new) teachers in 5 simple tips. I condense them into 4 – not much of a difference, I know, but mine take less space.
Dress up (1) – costumes, outrageously, humorously – to be fun and memorable. Don’t fail to be fallible (2). Be humble (3). And go outside (4) whenever feasible and possible. The world is what you are trying to teach; enabling the students to be successful “out there” – not in the box you’re in – is the real objective. If you do these things, the kids (and big kids) will generally pay attention, appreciate, and actively participate in thinking about what they are doing and hope to do in the future. Being successful or skillful in any one activity is not that important.
What is important about the advice Brendan gives is that people are likely to learn most from what they remember; that the most important things to study and learn are the things that are unknown, undiscovered, and (currently) impossible; and that if you challenge them to try adventurous activities in the real world – under teacher supervision and with your caring eyes and ears open – then they are more likely to accept these challenges when they are asked to do so for real as adults.
And that is all the reason in the world to become a teacher!