The things I learn in schools

When I was a teacher who had a student teacher in my classroom, often folks visiting from the University would describe what I was like as a teacher…even though they had never seen me teach. At first it bugged me. The funny thing was, the descriptions were rather accurate.

I am in public schools a lot. Since last January, I have been in more than 45 schools observing student teachers and in-service teachers. I have done this in two different states for two different universities, as well as for part of a federal grant where I am coaching in-service teachers. You would not believe what you can learn about a teacher by the type of space/climate that they create in their classroom. And it only takes about 2 minutes (or less) to get a good read on the type of mentoring and experience our student teachers will have with them. The more I’m in schools, the better I get at this “sixth sense.”

I also like what I am learning from these teachers. Sometimes they have clever things on the wall that serve as significant distractions…usually I’m supposed to be observing the student teacher, after all.

This particular poster was a thought-provoker. Ironically, it is hung in the hallway of one of the most traditional, non-risk-taking schools I have ever been in.

This quote is from James Bryant Conant (1893-1978), Educator and Diplomat.


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