SNIPPETS FOR PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS (3)

When going on practice, it is common to have questions to which answers are sought. My advice is to keep a small note book handy, to jot things down which go toward providing information and answers.

As a part time person connected with teacher education, it is heart warming to know of the deep commitment of so many pre-service teachers to becoming our teachers’ of tomorrow.

Should the development of speech and speaking programs be part of the curriculum available to children and students of all ages? Is ‘speaking and listening’ becoming an extinct form of expression?

My concern is more with the qualities of speaking and LISTENING than with the mere speaking of words. There is speaking and speaking. Listening as a part of the speech platform seems to have gone by the bye. Too often people listen for pause, so they can begin speaking. They listen but don’t hear or comprehend.

Please consider becoming teachers who appreciate the efforts of students and peers. “Thanks’ is a little word, hugely appreciated by those deserving recognition but so often overlooked. It is easy to pick, find fault, criticise and throw brick-bats. It seems that too often we overlook the bouquets.

THANKING people and meaning it creates a warm glow within others. The benefits of this positive remembrance lift offerors as well as receivers.

DON’T MAKE WORK A 24/7 EXPERIENCE

‘No one on their death bed ever regretted not having spent more time at work’ is something I heard many years ago. Work IS important and we need to do our very best. However, there needs to be life after work, a time for family, friends and relaxation. We need renewal and revitalisation.  That does not happen if our noses are forever on the grindstone. We need to do our conscientious best at the coalface. We also need to live life.

TEACHING SHOULD BE A JOY

I hope that all pre-service teachers are going into the profession because because they want to, not because they feel under qualified to go into any other profession.   Teaching is challenging but it should also bring joy. Teachers need to be ‘wannabees’ not ‘gottabees’.  All the best to all those who are preparing to enter our classrooms as teachers of tomorrow.

THE ICEBERG PROFESSION

The work done by teachers, school leaders and others connected with schools is metaphorically like an iceberg. One tenth of an iceberg is visible above the water, with the other nine tenths below the water. It is invisible to the casual observer.

Similarly, 10% of what educators do is visible to parents and the community at large. The other 90% is not seen, hidden from view but absolutely essential if their roles are going to be fulfilled. The depth of education is not seen. But without the devotion to planning and preparation, then follow up to teaching and visible management and leadership efforts, our roles would be far less effective. 

DEEP DIVING OR FROG HOPPING

The myriad of educational initiatives constantly coming at us, means schools could always be in a state of flux. We are constantly urged to try this, that and the other idea, meaning there can be little time to settle on an agenda. Organisations deserve predictability and steady state. Schools also need to be places where deep learning is offered. Rapid movement from one idea to the next to the next means there is little time for stabilising the agenda. Rather than deep learning, schools become like unto a frog hopping form lilly pad to lilly pad to lilly pad. One slip and the frog is dunked. In the same way, schools can become places of instability.

COACHING BY RETIRED TEACHERS

Retired teachers are seldom invited to take a backward look once they depart their schools on the last day of their teaching or leadership careers. Wise Education Departments, schools and universities involved with training the upcoming generation of teachers, do well to invite retirees to share their knowledge with continuing and future educators. To do so, enables valuable inside knowledge based on their experience to be shared. While teaching, for teachers, is always a process of discovery, it ought not be a process of re-discovery. Sharing learning by coaching can help to avoid regurgitation. My suggestion is that retirees be invited to coach, thereby enriching those of us who remain or who will be our next generation of teachers.

ETHICS AND VALUES

We do well to contemplate the ethics and values that underpin educational motivation and drive us as educators. One of the smartest things our Federal Government ever did, was to put on schools the need to develop values statements. I took this very much to heart and canvassed staff, students and the parent communnity. The response fro students and staff was above 90%. High level returns (in order of 60+%) came from our community. All responses were ranked and scored, then published as a supplement in our newsletter, ‘Leanyer Links’. From each group the first response was RESPECT. For me it is the most important value and deserves to head the rest. What do readers think?

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