Teachers: The Decisive Element

I AM THE DECISIVE ELEMENT IN THE CLASSROOM. It’s my personal approach that creates the CLIMATE. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I POSSES A TREMENDOUS POWER to make a child’s like miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, …

What is a Teacher?

VIDEO: What is a Teacher?

“What Is a Teacher? A teacher is someone who sees each child as a unique person and encourages individual talents and strengths. A teacher looks beyond each child’s face and sees inside their souls. A teacher is someone with a special touch and a ready smile, who takes the time to listen to both sides and always tries to be …

COMMENTARY: Working to Teach Character Together

When I talk to parents and teachers about the role of schools in teaching character someone usually points out that character development is and should be the primary concern of parents. Who can argue with that? Many of the attitudes and habits that make up character are learned at home. But they’re learned elsewhere as well — on the school …

COMMENTARY: Making Lives 749.5

A few years ago I came across a video by a very dynamic speaker, a former middle school teacher named Taylor Mali. He is now what’s called a performance poet — someone who delivers poetry as singers deliver songs. The poem that caught my attention was “What Do I Make?” an articulate and aggressive response to a critic who was putting down teachers. …

OBSERVATION: Whatever we are today has been influenced by scores of good teachers who taught us how to do things, filled our minds with information and ideas, shaped our attitudes and our deepest beliefs, inspired our ambitions and helped us form our self-image.

Image: Mr. Feeny of Boy Meets World Most of our teachers were not educators; they were our parents, grandparents, friends, coaches and others. Still, a great school teacher can have a great impact.  Many films and TV shows have centered on great teachers. Please look at the following list and tell us in the comments which is your favorite (and add …

COMMENTARY: Permitting Cheating Promotes Cheating 731.5

Reports of widespread cheating by schools in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and other districts – highlighted by the huge scandal in Atlanta involving 178 teachers and principals – should be alarming. If our educators don’t have the moral courage and integrity to resist pressures to cheat, what hope do we have that they will successfully instill these virtues in their students? …