I recently found a synopsis of an article that Dr. Richard Leblanc, from York University, wrote for The Teaching Professor. The article stated his top ten requirements for good teaching. He stated that good teaching is: 1) about passion, 2) about substance, 3) about listening, questioning, being responsive, 4) being flexible, 5) about style, 6) about humor, 7) about caring, nurturing, and developing minds and talents, 8) supported by visionary leadership and resources, 9) is about peer to peer mentoring and recognition, 10) and is about having fun and seeing the look on students faces as learning happens. If you look at number 1 and 10, these are the aspects of teaching that bring and keep most of us in the field of education. I must point out number 6, humor is paramount in ALL aspects of life.
I am passionate about teaching. It is not a job or even a career, it’s who I am. I am an educator and I love working with my students and making a positive impact on them and their lives. As an educator I am always looking for ways to improve my practice and the education that my students are receiving. The more experience I gain in the classroom, the more I realize the importance of my ability to listen and be responsive. I love to joke with my students in respectful ways and find that it helps them better understand me and read me. Too many of our students have seen too much in their short lives and I believe that in order to gain their trust the must be able to tell if you are being real with them or putting on a show. This is one reason why I choose to work with “more challenging” students. I have found a way to be real with them while maintaining professional boundaries.When these students tell me that they like being in my class because they know I care about them, that is my reward and the reason I am an educator.
There is nothing like that moment when students finally grasp what it is you’re teaching them or apply something you have taught them to solve a problem in another context. I work diligently everyday to create an atmosphere in my classroom that is conducive to learning and growing through not only the lessons that I teach, but also the materials I choose to place in our room.
I am still in education because I am committed to my students and their learning. I am sensitive to the fact that many factors affect my students development and that not all families view education in the same way. I want students to feel loved and valued as the amazing human beings they are. I remain committed to my practice because I want to advance education for all students. I am still in this because as Daniella Robles has said, “This is my life’s work.”