I recently attended a 2-day training in San Diego City Schools called “Put Me In, Coach.” This is a program for master teachers who have or will have a student teacher. The program was developed by Mark Reardon and is an exciting new offering of Quantum Learning Education.
The opening statement, “All habits we have as teachers are just habits and patterns and those patterns — they are either useful or not useful patterns” led to a great connection on the “supreme goal” of all teachers being focused on Quality of Student Learning.
There were dozens of powerful moments for me in the workshop as I made connections to Central Elementary School in Lake Bluff, IL where Tom Brown, my master teacher (who trained at the University of Chicago Lab School) coached me, grilled me, got me to stop saying “okay” at the end of a sentence, modeled greatness, shared and had me think about my practice. He inspired me on a daily basis and shaped much of how I educate today.
Mark shared 5 simple expectations he has of a student teacher. I share them with you because they are simple, up-front and useful:
- Teach from a place of passion and enthusiasm
- I expect you will fall in love with my students as I have
- Do not call me after 7pm, that’s family time
- On-time means on time 7:28 is on time for a 7:30 meeting
- At the end of this experience I want to say to your supervisor – you love kids, you care, you dress professionally, you speak with good purpose and what your strengths are as a teacher.
I saw this quote by John Dewey, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” What a great idea for all of us to remember, because every single day a new or veteran teacher thrusts themselves into new territory, is asked to perform, think and process how they can better impact the lives in front of them, understands their content, knows outcomes, heads-off discipline issues, give clear instructions…ah, this is the education. And what a great one when you have an outstanding coach to guide and mentor.