Rarely is there a good teacher or a bad teacher, instead there's a great mix of educators who are generally great teachers for some and not-so-great teachers for others. No educator has all gifts and can speak to all students, but there is rarely an educator who does not significantly impact the lives of some of their students. This is why it is important for school communities to include a diverse array of educators, and to recognize, value, and support the great diversity of skills, strengths, and impact they bring to the school community.
This morning I received a letter of gratitude from a former student. As part of their high school wellness program, students are asked to write a letter of gratitude to a teacher who has impacted them. I LOVED getting the letter, and what I loved even more were that the qualities the student identified as positive, qualities that well-matched my overall pursuits in education. What I truly believed in impacted this young girl in significant ways. That made me happy.
Too often, people try to choose the best educator when, in truth, it is better to acknowledge the great diversity in teaching teams that make their programs spot-on when it comes to serving the variety of needs, interests, and potenteial in the school community's children and families. Most teachers are good teachers, and that good is exhibited in multiple, different, and meaningful ways. The key is to figure out who you are as an educator, and to hone those talents, skills, and perspectives. It's best that every educator work to be the best of who they can be, and in that way, they will impact students in significant, life-enriching ways.