Replied to A Note to My Child’s Teacher (Tempered Radical)

I guess what I am saying is that I want my kid — a kid who has never really felt appreciated by a teacher — to walk away from your room each day convinced that you care about her as a person.  If you can pull that off, you will change her life for the better — and in the end, that’s our primary responsibility as classroom teachers.

I love this post Bill. It has me thinking about my own daughter’s teachers. I was wondering though about a different response, celebrating the successes or strengths of the teachers?

When I think about the teachers my daughter has had, there are a number of things that have stood out? For me, it has been relationships and a focus on strengths.

Originally posted at Read Write Collect

Replied to A Classroom Romance | Hybrid Pedagogy by Laura Witherington (Hybrid Pedagogy)

Joannne Lipman in “The Fine Art of Tough Love” describes principles she learned from her music teacher Jerry Kupchynsky, or “Mr. K.” The steps in her roadmap to success include:

  • Banish Empty Praise
  • Set Expectations High
  • Articulate clear goals — and goal posts along the way
  • Failure Isn’t Defeat
  • Say thank you

While these may sound like obvious practices, it’s the attitude that makes or breaks their instructional implementation. None of these steps addresses the actual student. These are steps that could be taken by an alienated expert. If these are the principles of tough love, they are missing the love. And the love is almost always excluded from those who claim to practice tough love. My rejoinder to them is to try plain love, without the adjective “tough.” Why not just love? Just loving the students refocuses the teacher’s efforts onto the students.

This reminds me of the Finnish idea of ‘Pedagogical Love‘:

In the same way, ‘pedagogical love would rather aim at the discovery of pupils’ strengths and interests and act based on these to strengthen students’ self-esteem and self-image as active learners’.

Liked a post by Colin WalkerColin Walker (colinwalker.blog)

The more I think about it the more I feel we need a shift to the personal side of the equation, the side where we know people and they genuinely matter to each other.

It is amazing that, in real time, we can speak to someone on the other side of the world in any number of ways but this globalisation has come at the expense of “local” on both interpersonal and societal levels.