0006: What’s the difference between a motivated and effective teacher and a frustrated teacher who is no longer effective (or less effective)?
It seems to be a difference in power or perceived power. The motivated teacher is reflective and actively and independently involved in personal and professional growth. The less effective teacher is stagnant. The motivated teacher is in control of their path. They are also concerned with the growth of those around them. They understand themselves to be an important part of a team. Maybe they’re involved democratically as well. They take an interest in policy and the role education plays in society as a whole. I heard a veteran teacher and principal suggest the paradigm shift to understand that the role of an educational staff is to cultivate your own next door neighbor. That is, we should consider creating equals instead of subordinates. With that in mind, the ineffective teacher separates him/herself from their students. They view them as subordinates. They view them as potential threats to their own personal power. Of course, the bureaucracy that plagues our school systems reinforces this. Teachers who are effective are not victims. They are active participants in their own growth and the growth of those around them. The first step is understanding that you, the teacher, is a necessary part of a system that should be benevolent and humanistic. We are developing equals who will work alongside us in the very near future.