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View Blog Archive WebSchoolPro Blog > School Leaders: Don't Let Your Teachers Lose Heart

Category - Administrators,Teachers,Leaders
Posted - 04/06/2013 11:35am
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School Leaders: Don't Let Your Teachers Lose Heart

School Leaders: Don't Let Your Teachers Lose Heart

I lined up to board a plane in Seattle when a security agent reached for my husband's ticket and read it. She said, "Barnoski?" Then she swiveled her head, finding me as her eyes filled with tears. "Mrs. Barnoski, I was one of your students in high school!" I recognized Andrea right away; it was her smile. She reached out to hug me as I kissed her on the cheek.

As I walked down the ramp to the plane, someone tapped me on the shoulder. A man asked, "You're a teacher, aren't you? So am I. History. Seeing former students is a great part of the job, isn't it?" I agreed. It is all about connections. Andrea and I made a connection when she was 16, and we formed a relationship.

Teachers have the same two goals: connecting with their students and helping them learn as much as they can about a subject area. In my case, as a high school English teacher (now retired), my focus was to teach my students how to read, write, and speak effectively. My colleagues and I sometimes differed on our methods, but we were committed to helping our students succeed in school and in life.

These two goals alone are difficult to achieve. Most high school teachers teach five classes a day with an average of 30 students per class. Picture trying to connect with 150 teenagers with their unique backgrounds, personalities, intellects, motivations, skills, learning styles, and needs. Regardless, an effective teacher is hypervigilant, always on the lookout for how a student is doing intellectually and emotionally. She leans down to ask a student about his day; says something nice by the door while he is leaving; requests a meeting to get to the bottom of a student's problem. A teacher grabs any moments she can find to connect.

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Comment posted by William Michael Jennings on 06/19/2013 07:19am
I'm a parent of a third grade daughter, and we live in Shelby County Alabama. I intend to become more involved with the education of my daughter, but it will take some time for me to become oriented to the current topics of discussion among parents and teachers in the Wilsonville area. At the national level I've been concerned about the handling of subjects that are currently being hotly debated with more than one opinion being expressed by at least two sides that have neither so far rested their case. I believe that if both sides are represented by advocates who have respectable credentials and have support from large portions of the population we should present the opposing opinions of both of those sides in the argument and permit open debate rather than pushing one side out into the margins. I tend to be on the more Conservative side on issues concerning weather and climate while nationally the only opinion being promoted is the opposite. Actually the debate is still going on, and the jury is still out, so I believe that such teaching presentations in Science classes should emphasize the point that the argument is still not settled so therefore should be presented as controversial, so perhaps the new word for today should be "Controversial". I also have concerns about how to find ways to motivate since learning can't happen if there is no motivation to learn. There must be curiosity before there can be information seeking. A drive to learn comes from interest in a problem to solve or a project to complete or a question to be answered, so finding ways to motivate is a crucial part of educating.