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The Art and Craft of Teaching

My university students, aspiring teachers, often come back from an observation where they have watched a teacher in his classroom, and think to themselves, “That’s not so hard.  I can do that.”

While I like the confidence, I’m also well aware that they don’t have the full picture.  They don’t yet know what they don’t know, and thus don’t see the subtleties of the groundwork that has been laid in that classroom and the work that has gone into instituting effective procedures and routines to make the classroom hum with learning.

When I watch ice skaters perform their various twirls, double half turns, and amazing jumps, it doesn’t look so difficult.

That’s because the job of a professional is to make it look easy!  And teachers, who are also professionals, “make it look easy.”

You have worked hard to hone your skills, to learn from each professional development session, to collaborate with colleagues, to incorporate standards, to learn new programs…..and the list goes on.  Each activity contributes to your growth as a professional and your dedication as a craftsman and artisan.

I love thinking of our profession as an art.

Generally, art involves creativity, inspiration, and imagination, producing a visual product that can be appreciated.  Is there any better definition of what we do as teachers?!

Our products are the students who leave our classes, richer in knowledge and character, than when they came to us.  And each new crop of students enriches US – both in knowledge and experience – and gives us opportunity to delve more deeply into who we are as teachers.

YOU are the professional!  YOU are the artist, the craftsman, the one who has devoted your life to learning how to help our next generation achieve their dreams. I celebrate those teachers who make it look easy.

Author:

I’m an educational consultant for teachers, administrators, and parents. I help teachers do what they do better. I help administrators retain the best teachers. And I help parents understand their children and their individual educational needs.

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