Thursday, March 20, 2014

The "I'm a Really, Really Great Teacher" Model

You may have noticed that the education world can be a bit finicky. We have a love/hate relationship with a lot of things...

I recall a time not so long ago when SAMR was all abuzz in the EdTech community as a thoughtful way to approach technology integration. Shortly after, a whole lot of rethinking surfaced about how or if it should be used. Like this. Or this. And this.

Or how about this viral video about the equally buzzy 'grit' we need to encourage within our kids? Later, it was followed up by this commentary on being careful with how we use it.

Oh hey, and how about Bloom's Taxonomy!? That's a tried and true framework everybody can get behind, right?

Well, maybe not everybody.

Ok, I admit, it may seem like I'm pointing out inconsistencies or a lack of sustained practice in my profession. I am not! I find these differing opinions on the best way to reach our kids not only indicative of a thoughtful and intelligent population, but also a natural consequence of the industry in which we work.

The industry of kids.

Every decision we make has a direct impact on those kids in front of us. There is no middle man. There is no design team to dream up the idea, or engineering team to create the product. There is no advertising team to develop the message, or sales team to deliver the pitch. We are the design team, the engineering team, the advertising team, the sales team, and so, so much more.

I congratulate us for adjusting accordingly. When we try something, we evaluate it. When it works, we refine it. When it doesn't, we alter or scrap it. We are infinitely creative and caring individuals solely driven for the sake of our kids.

I applaud us for not sticking to a routine. Or an algorithm. Or an assembly line.

When we put our kids into a classroom, we better not put them into a box.

So I implore you to consider and learn from Bloom's Taxonomy or SAMR or the Zone of Proximal Development or TPACK or LoTi or The Access Model or Gardner's Multiple Intelligences or the Framework for 21st Century Learning or RAT or Blending or Flipping or Cognitive Theory or Habits of Mind or Marzano or Differentiation or Personalization or PBL or CBL or IBL or Domains of Teaching or inTASC Standards or ISTE Standards or Pretty Much Everything On This Page or This Page or This.

But in the end, don't forget why you began teaching in the first place.

I've got a pretty great model to consider. It's called the I'm a Really, Really Great Teacher model, and it works like this...

I am responsive to my kids' needs.
I care.
I am thoughtful about their differences.
I am cognizant of my own.
I plan each day with their needs in mind.
I have the highest expectations of them.
I do what I need to to make sure they're met.
I do it whether it comes in the form of a nicely wrapped up research model or not.
I see my students as human beings.
I know they're more than just a score.
I value their passions and interests and strengths.
I see no limits to what they can do.
I make sure they see no limits to what they can do.
I am intelligent.
I am an expert.
I am experienced and full of passion.
I do what many cannot.
I don't do it alone.
And I don't do it for myself.

I am a really, really great teacher (model)*

*Trademark pending

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