Pencils, Backpacks, and Perspective: On Teachers

Over the course of my many years for schooling, I observed one fact about teachers that stood out from the rest. Teaching is hard. Honestly, I admire people who pursue teaching with passion and dedication more than I can say. People say all of the time that we ought to value our teachers more. And yet, we never really do…collectively, I mean.

Just look at teaching today for instance. Current educators have to compete with the internet. A source of instant and practically absolute knowledge. In a society that values efficiency, it seems almost impossible that teachers should be able to capture the average child’s attention. Why? Because that is the exact question on every child’s lips and mind these days. Why? Why bother? Why do they need to learn this? Why do they even have to be in school anyway? Why put effort in when you can learn anything you want from a search engine in mere seconds?

I will admit to having thought these questions myself during my K12 career. Some things (ahem – calculus, anyone?) just don’t seem worth the amount of brain power it takes to accomplish them when, for example, calculators exist.The trick is getting students to actually want to learn these things.

Quite the trick. Between keeping up with new technology and with students themselves, keeping up interest levels and cultivating a sincere interest in learning seems like it would be a huge burden dragging down your to do list.

Now, I’m no teacher. I’m no expert. This was merely meant to be a sort of ode to all of those great teachers out there. But I do know that the teachers whom I credit with the development of my own love of learning, all had one thing in common. They were all explicitly passionate about the subjects they taught and their students. Simple, and not so simple.

How do you keep your students interested? Let us know in the comments.