It sounds a bit arrogant to say this since I AM a teacher, but I think anyone who reads this blog knows this is about my family---my hobbies, my personal life......NOT my professional one. SO, this is written from the perspective of a mama. This is not a treatise on education!
My children have had some amazing teachers....and some not so amazing. One of Caitlin's teachers (in a school OTHER than my current institution), would say to her when she finished her work, "You go and help the stupid kids." SERIOUSLY---this was one of the "not so amazing teachers". Hannah had a teacher who required her to read Pride and Prejudice in the sixth grade. Hannah was telling me about it one day after school. She LOVED the book and was so animated as she described it. She then began to compare Austen to Dickens as I drove her home from school one day....I nearly wrecked the car from the tears streaming down my face. "AMAZING"---I still believe this is one of the reasons she loves British literature today....because she was inspired by a passionate teacher. Joshua has had his share of inspiring teachers as well. None more amazing than his Kindergarten teacher. She has taught several grades in the Lower School, but Joshua had her for Kindergarten---he LOVED HER. He loved school---he loved learning.
This week, some of Trinity's Lower School students have had a "guest lecturer". Ian Finley of Burning Coal Theatre, here in Raleigh, has been there to teach the students about Shakespeare. I have not had the privilege of seeing him in action, but EVERY child who has had him this week has entered my classroom talking non-stop about him. BUT NOT JUST about Ian Finley---they have been inspired and fascinated with SHAKESPEARE! I LOVE IT!!! Isn't this what a great teacher does? Helps the student find their passion to learn? Helps the student have a GREAT TIME learning---even if the material is hard, so it's worth the effort because learning new things is so FUN!! Joshua---who is hard to please.....has come home the last two days talking incessantly about "Mr. Finley" and all that he's learning. What a wonderful blessing this is to THIS mama--to have her child come home and chatter on about school that day.
Hannah put it well in an email to me the other day. (She was "rambling on"----I'm not sure where she gets that?) She hopes to be a teacher eventually---maybe even a professor. She is teaching English right now in China. Here's a bit of what she said---I've edited it liberally!
So obviously, China is really important to me--meaning what we're doing here is important. Because I want to teach someday. And I'm teaching--it's a great experience! But WOW. It's hard! And the teacher inside of me (because I think there is one) is just wanting to spend time with and inspire these kids--but I have NO idea how! Because I have no clue what I'm doing, and then there's the fact that, HELLO I can barely communicate with them! I personally felt like our lesson today was a total disaster and it was just PAINFUL. Ugh. I mean they thought we were awesome 'cuz we're American, and I think they basically got the lesson, but did it inspire them? Are they excited for actually LEARNING next time? I don't think so. They're excited to see the Americans again! And maybe that's a barrier that I can't breach, but I dunno.
Great teachers are hard to find. Good teachers----lots of them, but GREAT teachers---amazing! The hours that a great teacher puts into the job---you wouldn't believe it--unless you ARE one or are MARRIED to one! Who was your favorite teacher growing up? I'll bet you had one---you should write them and tell them thank you---