Is a good educator your friend or teacher?
Ideally, a good educator is both, but it may not always be easy to strike the balance.
As I think about this question, I am first thinking about our mission as educators? What is it that we are really trying to do? Are we helping students to push ahead and meet their potential or are we satisfied to focus mostly on their comfort level? Of course, good learning demands that children are comfortable, happy, and included, and good education also expects us to create opportunities for productive struggle, facing challenging questions, and learning important information, concepts, and skill.
Moving ahead in the education sphere, I want to think about the following questions with sincere attention and effort next year.
Who are you?
The more I understand my students' needs and interests--the better I can teach them.
How does our classroom work?
The better I work with students to create a good class culture complete with shared protocols, goals, and endeavor, the better. The classroom belongs to all of us?
What are our teaching/learning goals?
The more that the goals are transparent and each child understands their path and progress towards those goals the better. It is important for families and students to understand why particular goals are prioritized.
Everyone has a leadership role?
It is vital to find opportunities for every child to lead in some way. It is critical to give every child a chance to get some special recognition and attention.
What is hindering a best possible learning situation, and how can remedy that?
It is best to work at problems when they are small, and work together with teachers, students, and families to solve those problems.