Author Todd Whitaker describes three types of teachers. One of those, the most elite group, he names "Superstar" teachers. "Superstars" represent a small number of your overall staff, but these are the teachers that can have the most influence. That is, if administrators recognize and value the power they hold and make them an integral part of the school decision-making process. These are the teachers that must be protected, encouraged, and supported as they assist with leading a school in the right direction. This Blog Is Why we must appreciate and celebrate those educators who go above and beyond. The future of our students depends on it.
Summer Reading Blog #5
A few days ago, I presented myself with a personal challenge: read one blog per day. Of course, I took to Twitter for some suggestions and was pleased with the suggested blogs that came my way. Here, I was introduced to Justin Birckbichler's blog (link above). I am excited to learn and grow with this inspirational 4th grade teacher. His story of Jack reminded me of a touching/inspiring story from my past that I like to keep in the back of my mind. I am sure that many educators have had some encounter with this story from 1974 written by Elizabeth Silance Ballard. It was published in Home Life Magazine as "Three Letters from Teddy" and still has relevance today. I will attempt to summarize the story: It is the story of Teddy Stallard and his teacher Miss Thompson. Teddy started out as a good student who began to have problems in school after the death of his mother. One Christmas he gave his teacher (Miss Thompson) used gifts that had belonged to his mother. The teacher immediately thanked him and made a big deal about them in front of the classmates that teased him. Their relationship changed in that moment. Teddy would go on to attend college and become a doctor. Later in life when he got married, he invited Miss Thompson to sit in his mother's place at the wedding. Demonstrating the impact that her act of kindness had on his life.
As an administrator, when I have had a student in my office for behavior concerns, my ultimate goal is for them not to come back (unless it's to read me a story or share some good news). It's not about fixing the child, it's about building a better relationship. A relationship where he/she wants to do better because they know it will make you proud. Better yet, just because it will make them a better person. Nobody is perfect and we all have struggles. We can't forget that when dealing with children. Often a child that is acting out, is crying out for help at the same time. It's a test: "does this person care enough"?
I will take this opportunity to share a resource as well---the 2 x 10 strategy. I think it's a great management tool and worth a look if you are not familiar with it. For that one student that consistently acts out, set aside two minutes a day for ten consecutive days to build a relationship with her/him by talking about his/her interests. Try it. You may be amazed with the pay off. Aren't your students worth it?
I can just hear the responses now:
Superstar Teacher: Oh! I already do that. I call it (insert cute/catchy name here).
Backbone Teacher: Sure. It's worth a try. I'll try anything!
Mediocre Teacher: I have already tried everything. Nothing works for (insert student name).
My big take-aways from the reading:
1. You may not be able to make every sporting event, birthday party, or dance recital, but your presence in the community/life of a child speaks volumes. I love seeing students outside of the school setting. You get to enjoy them in a new and different way.
2. Don't forget to have fun. School can be stressful---for everyone. Enjoy those silly moments. Create a few too.
3. Mr. B is truly a superstar teacher!#EnoughSaid
You can also connect with me on Twitter @MsClassNSession or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/principalsdj.
Post comments or subscribe by email to www.thisblogiswhy.blogspot.com as I continue to share my summer reading list.