Sunday, April 8, 2012
Blog Post #10
The video Do you Teach or Do you Educate? had me stop and realize my influence on my future students. This powerful video asked two simple questions of us, future teachers of America, are we going to teach or are we going to educate our students? This question can be easily answered, but not easily implemented. We graduate with high hopes and big dreams for ourselves an our future students and then we are faced with the reality of the educational world. Most new teachers are not prepared for the challenge of education, some are not interested in the fight, and then there are those that welcome the challenge of educating students instead of teaching. We would all like to believe that we are the ones ready for the challenge, but this is just simply not true. That does not mean we can't be ready. We need to steel our resolve and hunker down for the long fight, because some students will fight and bureaucratic teachers will resist our attempt at educating instead of teaching.
I myself would like to believe that I am ready for that fight. I have spent many years in different arenas of employment with no real accomplishments that could stand up in time. Because, of this I have searched my soul for what truly drives me and I believe it is educating students. Instructors that educate students instead of teach, their names are passed from lips of students, to other students, to parents, to communities. Their name and quality of teaching lives in the hearts of the students they have encountered. I want to be that person. I want to be that educator that has made a difference in a student's life. I am not in this employment for the money, summers off, or a steady source of income. I want to challenge my students, make a difference in their educational development, and lead young minds forward on to their learning journey. In the end, I want to be an educator in scholastic and life not just a teacher in the classroom.
At what point do we start to loose the ability to read between the proverbial "lines". I read Mr. John T. Spencer's blog Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home and right off I understood he was referring to technology and students. I finished reading his post and found his ability to hide his soap box, technology and students, with a very funny one, pencils going home with students. Then something struck me, just about every person that commented on his post thought he was a pencil crusader or felt he handled his supervisors problem very well. People were cheering him on in his quest for pencil rights and the ability of students to play Hangman. Someone even commented that Hangman was a great vocabulary builder. Maybe I am being a little to critical, but almost every comment on his post followed the same pattern. It was either "Great solution to the problem" or "Pencils and paper help garner creativity". I continued to read more and more comments and the overall opinion shared by the group was that Mr. Spencer, a.k.a. Mr. Johnson, was helping kids deal with "drill and kill bubble tests" by allowing them the affordability to take their pencils home and use them in a creative manner.
Wow, when everyone is looking up in the sky and you are the only one not doing it, you feel like you may be missing something. Trust me this is not one of those times. I was truly amazed at the amount of people that truly thought this article was about pencils in schools and home life. "Parents don't use them in the factory" come on people, he is being metaphoric. He is substituting pencil for technology. We as future teachers should really focus on being able to see the hidden subjects, because students won't just come out and tell us how to reach them in the classroom. Educators such as Mr. Spencer help us, the students of educating others, by exposing us to different types of posts. So we can challenge ourselves, allowing our minds to grow. When we grow, students win.