Saturday, March 30, 2013

Love Like That

What would teaching look like with the Sun's attitude?  What does a love like that look like in a classroom?
  • selfless
  • less interested in taking credit than in spreading the wealth
  • curious and eager
  • a teacher that greets students at the door with a smile and or a greeting
  • a teacher that knows at least 3 things--likes,dislikes,interests-- if not 5 or more about each student in the room
  • gentle
  • loving
  • dedicated o
  • a teacher that takes responsibility and ownership of students' learning (or not learning) 
  • a teacher who accepts late work 
  • a teacher who grades what students know and are able to do in terms of course content and not behavior
  • kind
  • compassionate
  • peaceful
  • a teacher who uses quizzes as formative assessment not punishment
  • a teacher who believes writing aids in processing information (not in curbing unwanted behaviors)
  • caring
  • joyful
  • a teacher who listens 
  • a teacher who gives students voice and opportunity
  • honest
  • self-controlled
  • gracious
  • a teacher who teaches bell to bell instead of handing out an assignment (and then shopping on the computer or browsing the Internet while students work)
  • a teacher who adjusts when warranted and doesn't lean on legalism
  • empathetic
  • responsible
  • a teacher whose mind can be changed in the course of a conversation
  • a teacher who admits mistakes and takes corrective action

Some friends and I were talking about just this idea as we discussed punitive moves some of our children's teachers made this year and in years past. Our children started middle school this year. The sixth grade team's philosophy in the K-8 school often doesn't jive with mine. They  look to give every student in sixth grade a detention and or an undone (a slip for a missing assignment)  the first  of school to set the tone. "What kind of tone?" I wish I'd asked at Open House.

I do appreciate how such differences in philosophy force me to examine my own beliefs and practices.  I still cringe thinking about times in my own classroom when I might have been on the look out for bad behavior instead of good. Come Monday we'll be celebrating the good work students did for the Slice of Life Story Challenge. I hope you have a lot of good to look forward to as the last quarter of the school year gets underway.


  1. This semester, I started a weekly assignment appropriately named "problems of the week". It's a handful of problems, usually multiple choice, that students must submit online. I hand it out on Monday and it's due Friday morning. Still, some don't do it and others offer excuses. I've given students a one time pass, but more than testing them on math problems I am trying to teach some responsibility and accountability. In the past, I think I've been too lenient with students and since I think that given them a reasonable amount of time to complete the assignment allows me to be more stringent with the due date.

  2. I love this idea of teaching with the sun's attitude. Something to ponder during spring break.

  3. LOVE that quote, Lee Ann! I try so hard every day to be the teacher you described with all those bullet points. (In fact, I've even gotten in trouble with some old-school teachers for being too nice -- writing late passes for students who have stayed after class to talk to me about some tough stuff in their lives.) Every once in a while, I wonder if I am being "too nice"... but I figure if I'm going to be "too" something, I'd rather "CHOOSE KIND"! I still have so much to work on, but that's what I want to work toward. Thank you for this wonderful message!

  4. I try to be this teacher. I don't always make it, but it is my goal to treat my students with respect and kindness. In return, they usually treat me the same way and do more work as well.

  5. I think I will just print out your picture here and hanging it where I can see it. :)

  6. Love the list and pic. I told my husband today that having once again to teach the research paper this trimester makes me feel hostile, so I have to be extra careful not to blame the kids who had nothing to do w/ the trimester system and who dislike it as much as I do. Just keeping each individual in mind rather than taking a group approach helps.

  7. Lee Ann, isn't your list what every 'human' should be? I am actually very clear about what and how teaching should be, and dislike it when teachers seem to need to form an us and them within their classes or even the school. Thanks for this-lovely to hear!

  8. The list is a great reminder. You say it so well.