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Saturday, March 5, 2011

More Cowbell

Teachers become mentors to the education process. We do not simply exude knowledge when we walk the halls or leave traces of learning on the desks for students to find as they enter - we mold and wield it to our interests. Incredible things are made possible in the classroom when there is a teacher with new eyes and a fresh perspective on how to approach teaching. We bring the curriculum along for the ride, knowing that it has a place on this trip. But we do not expect those formal expectations and words to carry the conversation in our classroom; that is our place. Our students merely need to mention it now and again, thereby making sure that it doesn't feel excluded.

Our lessons are shaped by our ideas and those influenced by the world around us. Anything can be a teaching moment and those things that seem the most trivial are usually the ones most in need of teaching. The hidden curriculum is what builds better global citizens and responsible students; manners, social cues, character education and common sense. These are the building blocks of a better world and they have been left without a place in the conventional curriculum.

We know when something in our midst is on the verge of breaking through and taking over the learning environment. We can sense the excitement in the room when a student is about to grasp a new concept or one that has alluded them until now. Those are the times when a teacher feels like an expert. If you haven't felt that way in a while there could be any number of reasons for it. But, ultimately, it needs more cowbell. And when it gets that cowbell - incredible things will happen for you and the students in your room. Focus on what the problem is that is preventing you from feeling like the expert and professional that you are. Whatever is holding you back has to be reconciled before those gold records find their way to your walls again.

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