You can’t ever just teach one thing.
Whether we like it or not there’s always other stuff going on: we’re teaching what we think of our students, whether we value other people’s time or feelings, how we think we should speak to people, how a person might be in the world…
All the time – consciously or not, or both – teachers are sending messages about what it means to be at school, about what education is for, whether this stuff we’re learning is part of the thrill of a lifetime or a necessary chore.
We play a huge role in determining whether or not our students like school, and the qualities that we reward and emphasise – risk taking or obedience, creativity or following the script, delight or the humdrum, kindness or indifference or worse – shape our kids’ days and so – their futures.
As with so many things, what we do and how we do it speaks louder than what we say.
What are you teaching today?
What else will you be teaching?
Just to say I am reading all your entries. This is particularly helpful and a great reminder – thanks!
Hey John, thanks for reading and for the encouragement!
I find it so easy to forget this under pressure of content or curriculum, or just from being in a hurry. It feels like you’ve got to be twice as good at teaching to do it responsively and graciously/gracefully.