Educators wear many hats in and out of the classroom. I truly believe teachers are some of the best thespians in the world. I’m going to focus on 5 roles teachers play to make an impact on their students’ lives.
I quickly understood this role of being a Protector takes priority over the others. Students always want to feel comfortable to express themselves and show off their personalities. At the same time, they need to feel safe and to be themselves among their peers. Building a rapport with my students allowed them to speak freely including when something was bothering them. This applies to all school settings, public, charter, and private. Age does not matter as all students want to know that they are loved and cared for. A safe environment is a recipe for learning.
A lot of us take this role for granted including celebrities. I never got the Nike ad “I’m not a role model” with Charles Barkley. At one point or another, we all play the role of a mentor and role model. As an educator, we have a larger responsibility than most. We need to remember all eyes are on us and to lead by example. Educators should always have their students strive to be the best and sometimes baby steps are ok to get there.
One of the most difficult things for me to do is let go as a teacher. What I mean by that is a transition from “Sage on the Stage” to “Guide on the Side” type of instruction. I was brainwashed from all my years of education that students only wanted to hear my beautiful voice. Leading them to the correct thought process seemed so difficult. Teaching Geometry opened my mind and eyes to different paths of thought. There is more than one route to get to your solution. Educators are just supposed to be guides on each students’ learning journey.
Teachers need to always have a growth mindset. We tend to get in a rut or stagnate when it comes to bettering ourselves. This is specifically true when it comes to technology. Many of my colleagues feared changed in the classroom with technology, always claiming that it meant more work for them, when in reality long term it meant less work. Learning how to use best practices for the use of technology will lead to higher engagement and learning for students. Genius Plaza can definitely help with that.
I always felt the saying “There are no stupid questions” was true. Questions will lead to answers, answers will lead to knowledge. Now the saying “Ignorance is bliss” blows my mind. Ignorance is lack of probing and asking. Learners will ask and we should answer with a smile, even if it is the 53rd time they ask. Never push a student away because of their question even when sometimes it may not be relevant to your current classwork. We get those all the time and I answer them at the appropriate time. And it’s ok not to know the answer to some questions. Just hold your head up high and say “I will get back to you”. Nothing wrong with a little courteous customer service.