|Posted by anonymous on April 14, 2015 at 7:50 PM|
Who inspired you to become a teacher?
It's hard to say for me, I had a few teachers I really respected when I was at school. Among them would have to be my next door neighbour and PE teacher, Mr Brown. You see, I never really saw myself as an academic student & I saw school as an opportunity to play sport and hang out with my mates. Mr Brown always went above and beyond his normal teaching responsibilities and was just a good genuine guy. He made me interested in the topic and somehow I managed to top the subject in Yr 12. All from a student who didn't consider themselves traditionally smart.
I was lucky and had a lot of good teacher role models, most of which didn't actually have me in their classes. They would give their time freely and be available to talk through issues. As with everything, I also had the teachers that themselves couldn't manage to pass on their love of the subject - if they indeed loved it anymore. Those teachers didn't let you ask questions or if they did, it seemed like it was to make you feel stupid. I can distinctly remember a maths teacher who, when it was time to give the results back to the class, called out everyone's result. I specifically asked for that to not happen but was shot down. I was humiliated, as maths definitely was not my strong point, and continued to dislike both the teacher and the subject. You see, she couldn't explain WHY the formulas were used but I was told to just follow it. Ah, the frustrations are still there after all this time.
Often times, we don't realise the lasting impact we have on our students. We see them and interact with them every day but are often clueless about what it means for them. When I became a teacher, I wanted to be the teacher that I had always wanted. I tried to model myself on the conglomeration of teaching qualities I had noticed in the great teachers that I had experienced and had my own ideas of the teacher I'd like to be. Over the last couple of years I have become almost obsessed with Ted Talks and draw so much inspiration from them. I thought I'd share with you my top 3 talks, so here they are:
1. Rita Pierson - Every kid needs a champion - oh my god! This talk would have to be hands down, my favourite talk across any topic. When I feel like I need a pick-me-up, I watch her talk (sometimes 5 times in a row!). It doesn't matter how many times I watch this, it always moves me and I can only imagine the impact that she has had on her lucky students. I was devastated to hear that she has passed away as I would have loved to have a few conversations with her!
2. Stephen Ritz - A teacher growing green in the South Bronx - this guy just oozes energy! Can you imagine having him in your classroom? You know that a talk is good when it inspires you into action and that's what this talk did for me. It really made me think about how we are delivering information and connecting with our students. He also uses education to help cross over and change the community. Awesome.
3. Kakenya Ntaiya - A girl who demanded school - holy crap! I was listening to this talk as a podcast on my drive to school and it was just playing through the list of talks that I hadn't heard yet. I was totally unprepared for the emotion that came with this talk and was in awe of the single-mindedness that this woman possesses. Her unrelenting drive for education in such dangerous situations makes you wish that the students in our classrooms were half as thankful for an education & not having to sacrafice body parts for it!