Monday, March 11, 2019

Being A Unique Teacher

I recently was asked by a new teacher how they can become just like me. My answer was, “You can’t.”

Teaching is a lot like fingerprints. Everyone is different. There are no identical twins teaching. No one can be exactly like me because of my own personal experiences and values color my teaching style. Even if someone has lived exactly like me with my exact experiences, there won’t be a duplication of teaching styles. Even if someone had lived in the same circumstances, our interpretation and perception of the situations can be totally different.

Teaching is not an exact science. There is no magic formula that makes each teacher a perfect teacher.

The thing that makes a teacher better is the desire to become better and more effective every day.

Each day is a new beginning. We hope we learn from our mistakes from the day before, so we don’t repeat them. We hope to gain new knowledge from the day before to try new strategies that might help our students. We hope to learn new strategies from others that we’re willing to try in order to help our students be more successful.

When asked how I would handle a situation that another teacher is facing, I have to reach into my “bag of tricks” that contains strategies that I’ve used in the past or knowledge that I’ve learned from others. Maybe one of these strategies will be the key to helping that teacher but there is no guarantee. All I can do is try.

We try to better ourselves. We try to better the learning environment. We try to better our students.

Each one of us is a unique teacher. We can observe others and learn their strategies but how we implement it in our own classroom will be unique because we all have our own unique perspective. Even when we imitate another teacher’s style, it will be different in our own classroom. Not only are we coming at it from a unique perspective but our students have their own unique perceptions. How they interpret our actions makes the whole situation a new experience.

We should never hope to be a teacher like someone else. We can hope to learn new things or try new things, but we need to be ourselves. We need to be unique. Being unique is a good thing and we need to accept our own uniqueness in order to be successful in the classroom.

Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

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