I saw first hand what an amazing teacher can do for a student this year with my daughter P. I was so sad to see this year end for her because what she learned in that class will be very difficult to replicate. I have written about educators before in this blog, and feel that I can do it justice because I am an elementary educator as well. I am a firm believer that this profession is largely based on instinct. A teacher needs to instinctually know how to differentiate, ignite excitement, teach the foundations, explore enrichment and make the child feel safe, and in control of their learning. It is such an act of instinct that it is awe inspiring to witness first hand.
Miss P’s teacher this year had that instinct. He was a dynamic instructor who had a calm nature but was able to provide a firm class environment in which each child succeeded. There was not one day where Miss P was not excited to enter that class and learn. The thing is, I do not even think the kids realized exactly how much they were learning because they all were so actively involved in the process. The class blog alone was worth a standing ovation. Chatter within the class setting, to me, is an integral component to the structure of learning. I loved when I watched the blog videos and saw how small groups were engaged and using their problem solving skills and speaking and listening skills to complete an activity. I can assure you, that does not happen over night. Those are taught skills, and her teacher did an impeccable job at that. These kids will use those exact same skills in the workforce as adults and will help them become proactive communicators.
One night a few days ago, Miss P was watching videos on a blog that her teacher introduced to his class a while ago. She was watching a video about the Northern Lights. As she was walking to the kitchen to plug the computer in to charge, she looked at me and said, “I’m really going to miss Mr.S. He just gets kids.” She is very correct. At night she would sit on her bed and tell me word for word about stories he would tell the class about the years he lived in Belize. She would tell me interesting facts about uncommon animals, countries across the globe, or describe the elements of rocks. She just wasn’t reciting. She actually processed this information and was able to pay it forward and teach others. All because of her teacher.
We struck gold this year with him. To be an innovative teacher today with all the red tape and countless administrative tasks associated with it is very difficult. But for Miss P, her teacher juggled it all without missing a beat or losing his drive to be the best teacher for his students. Bravo!