Three reasons every teacher should become a student

Teachers spend a lot of time telling other people what to do. They organise, instruct, facilitate, demand, cajole and convince.

There is a lot of… Students stand up. Sit down. Open your books. Look this way. Listen. Follow me. Do your homework. I said sit down.

Yes, there is a lot of that. And most of it is necessary. But somewhere along the way, after all of that time telling other people what to do, teachers forget what it’s like to be on the other side of the weight of expectation and the wagging finger.

Perhaps what’s called for is a little table turning. Perhaps all teachers should become students for a day.

And here, ladies and gentleman, are three reasons why teachers should try the switcheroo.

One: Empathy

How long has it been since you’ve had to sit for 6 hours every day for an entire working week? Then imagine being twisted in an undoubtedly un-ergonomic plastic chair to face a person expecting you to listen.

How long has it been since you had to request any movement from that chair, or request a tissue, a drink, a lavatory break? How would all of that make you feel?

I know that most teachers want to be good teachers, and they are, but there’s nothing like empathy to make you an even better one.

Two: Smarts

Teachers are in the knowledge business. So how, indeed, can one possibly see an end point to that? How can a teacher possibly ‘know it all’? They can’t, and we all ‘know’ that.

By enrolling in a night class, online course or another academic pursuit they are not only becoming more valuable teachers but dare I say it more interesting people.

Three: Self Reflection

When teachers become students there’s a new teacher in the room, and it’s not them. This is key people. It is not them. Instead it’s a huge mirror reflecting them.

The teacher who has the joy of teaching a teacher (insert sarcasm) is using all of their teacher techniques on said teacher.

What a beautiful opportunity to see just how effective positive reinforcement, encouragement and support are and how debilitating mockery and ridicule is.

Lesson learnt my friends, lesson learnt.IMG_2634.JPG

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