This post answers the 33rd question from my TeacherToolkit Thinking page of Thunks.
Thunk 33: If no one is listening, are you still a teacher? by @TomBarwood
If no one is listening, are you still a teacher?
My problem is not thinking of thunks, but spending too much time doing the opposite. I seem to spend so much time thinking out of the box, I sometimes have difficulty getting back in the box – at least this is the excuse I give to my wife (the lawyer) – after another botched passport application for the kids!
More pertinently, this is why I found it so hard to produce my dissertation for my Section 5 inspector training. The main thrust of all inspecting work, seems to be the idea, that we are all looking to ensure that all students are making rapid and sustained progress and looking for evidence that they are enthused and engaged (isn’t it?).
It was this notion which made me think of my thunk, which is: ‘if no one is listening, are you still a teacher?’ I sometimes think this strikes at the core of who we are and why so many of us get so stressed.
What is the sign of a good teacher?
One who knows their subject inside out, or one who can empathise and ‘get down with’ the kids? Maybe both or neither? I also wonder if it is why some teachers resist technology and the idea of the ‘flipped’ classroom. To move from being the ‘sage on the stage’, to the ‘guide on the side’ can be too much of an ontological shift for some people. Perhaps another progressive or traditionalist debate is needed in another thunk?
What do you think?
Tom Barwood is a current teacher; parent and school governor. He is an author; presenter and consultant who has worked all over Britain, Europe and parts of the Middle East. His website is: www.likemindslearning.co.uk