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What teacher inspired you?
February 28, 2014
Hi,

What teacher inspired you?

Often at trainings you get asked, “What teacher inspired you?”

I wish I could say it was a teacher in Elementary school – but I mostly just remember feeling dumb during those years.

There are three teachers that really left an impact on me.

The first one was my freshman year in High School.

She taught: “Get a journal. Write about whatever you want. I will read it and validate your feelings.”

I know that wasn’t the name of the class – it was probably something like “Creative Writing 101” or something.

What I do remember is feeling like she really listened, cared, and wanted to know more about me.

Those journals were rants about my parent’s divorce, feelings of stupidity, and wondering if I’d ever have a boyfriend.

However, the way she responded, and read, and replied made me feel like I was writing a Shakespearean play.

She was a great teacher because she knew me as a person.

The second one was in my junior year of High School. It was the Journal Teacher’s husband.

He taught: “Read a book. Any book. I don’t care what book. When you’re done – sit at my desk and tell me about it.”

Again, I’m sure it had a course name like “Independent Reading 101” – but to me it was magic.

This was when I learned that I could read a whole book.

I never did that before this class.

His room was quiet, and weirdly arranged, and we all lay on the floor or walked in circles and read for the whole period.

The only time there was talking was when he was chatting with us about our books.

You could tell he really listened to us because sometimes we’d see him reading a book we had told him about during one of our chats.

He was a great teacher because he knew me as a person.

The third teacher was in my junior year in college.

She taught: “Listen to music. Read poems. Analyze lyrics. Talk about this stuff. How does it fit into the world of education?”

Again, I’m sure it was called “Philosophy of Education” or something like that.

She took what she knew college kids were into – and twisted it in such a way that we were discussing teaching, leading, facilitating and using music and lyrics to get there.

We would bring in materials to share and she would be on board instantly.

She was a great teacher because she knew me as a person.

After thinking about the teachers who really impacted me, I noticed that they were the teachers who took the time to really know their students, and relate what they wanted them to learn to what their students knew already.

So, how well do you know your students and how do you use that information in your teaching?


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