5 myths about teaching 1 truth
When it comes to teaching, there can be many things that distract or take away from our most important objective, which is to facilitate student learning.
It’s important to stand up for your beliefs and fight to make changes to improve the educational process; however, problems arise when we as educators allow these distractions to interfere with our passion and motivation, which then negatively impacts our teaching. No matter where you teach or who you are teaching there will always be policies that you don’t like or agree with, but we must always remember it’s not about the distractions or the noise; it’s about YOU the educator and what YOU do with the students.
Myth 1 – Teaching is about the test.
We teach in high stakes testing environments, with large amounts of external pressure to move students up, make adequate yearly progress, and achieve proficiency. These external stresses can lead us to believe that our education and teaching is all about the big test. It’s not! It’s about how you present the material, and how you make it interesting and relevant to a group of diverse students, it’s about how you facilitate and inspire the desire to learn. If you do that the test will take care of itself.
Myth 2 – Teaching is about the curriculum.
At times the curriculum can be overwhelming with requirements that in no way match the allotted time. As an educator it’s about how you handle this discrepancy, do you rush the students forward always thinking of the next lesson because that’s where the curriculum says you should be, or do you recognize the need for extra time and allow the learning process to take place?
Myth 3 – Teaching is about the schedule.
No schedule is perfect and none ever will be; it doesn’t matter if your schedule is daily, weekly, or on a cycle. It doesn’t matter if you teach in a block schedule, short periods, or with all subject integration. The schedule is just a distraction, it’s about you.
Myth 4 – Teaching is about your fellow teachers.
Our fellow teachers often are one of our best resources. Ideas are shared, dynamic lessons are developed, and unique skills are fostered through teacher interaction. How do you create this type of sharing environment within your school? How do you take the strengths and weaknesses of those working alongside you and use them to enhance your own teaching? Are you making your fellow teachers better or worse?
Myth 5 – Teaching is about the technology you use.
Technology is an educational buzz word; sometimes it seems that if you’re not using technology then you must not be teaching. Technology itself is nothing more than a fancy, expensive version of paper and pencil. How you, the educator use the technology makes all the difference, are you using it to enhance learning, to make learning more dynamic and interactive, or are you simply substituting it for a set of flash cards or the old overhead projector. Technology by itself is worth little, it’s about how you, the educator implement it into you classroom.
Truth – Teaching is about you.
Teaching is about the connections you make with students; it is about building relationships of mutual respect. It is about building trust and allowing students to know you still care, even when they may fail. It’s about how you inspire students to see the possibilities that lie in front of them, and giving them the tools and confidence to aspire to those possibilities. It’s about how you respond when a student comes to you in crisis…no matter how small or trivial it may be. It’s about your interactions with students, the relationships you develop and it’s about the teaching you do.