The Right Teacher #sol18
June 12, 2018
I have been thinking a great deal lately about the idea of the ‘right’ teacher. In a meeting last week someone said to me if this child has the right teacher, he can do well. I stopped in my tracks right there. I’ve been thinking about what I said in response for a week.
I said and still believe that any teacher can be the right teacher for a student. The magical components for this miracle are the right information and the right support. Most of that is out of the hands of that hardworking teacher. Those of us who currently are working our best to help that student are responsible for assisting that next teacher in being a success.
I don’t think the teacher who received that response from me, believed me. Perhaps she believed that magically she was assigned this student and she alone was able to figure out exactly what he needed. This could be true. If that is the case, then it’s quite difficult for us to make that magic happen time and again for so many students that struggle with so many different things. Because they all struggle with something at some time. Don’t we as well.
What I know is that there is magic sauce, but we cook it ourselves. We examine. We assess. We confer. We try out things. Then at some moments in some situations, things work. We meet. We discuss. We plan. We measure success. Then suddenly that combination of teacher, class, physical space, support, and classmates is finished.
When it’s time for the next year, maybe we should think a little less about the right teacher. Perhaps we should think about the environment, the support to the student and teacher, and the evolving needs of that precious student. For when a student fails or miraculously succeeds, it isn’t the responsibility of that one teacher. It’s the village.
So perhaps you have been the right teacher or even thought you were the wrong teacher. Perhaps you’ve seen a miraculous relationship between a student and a teacher. Perhaps you are searching for that right teacher for someone for whom you have concerns. I tell you in our PLC, in our school, in our teams, in our lives, we can help every teacher be the right teacher for the students we know. It is a miracle, however it’s a miracle we can create over and over again.