"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Challenging perceptions

There is no denying the fact that teachers have a powerful influence on their students. Teachers by and large operate with a great spirit of generosity towards their students and their colleagues. We are a profession that not only cares about the mind but the whole person. This notion was what attracted me to the profession in the first place and I have known many a good teacher who has lived up to these expectations.

Expectations are the things that can drive us but they can also hold us back. I was recently reminded of this when listening to a short talk by Dan Haesler at the Central Coast Teach Meet. The expectations we have of students can really influence their success. 

It is easy to get so distracted when you are in the business of lesson preparation and marking and slowly you slog through the massive amounts of information and content we need to get through in our lessons that we forget sometimes to take a shift in our minds and make sure our students are extended and challenged. Mixed ability classes in some ways are easier to do this because the stronger students in the class can help and model to those who are struggling. However the fact remains that just getting them through is not good enough. Each student is unique and different and because we are professionals and we need to continue to maintain individual learning outcomes to cater for all needs.

There has been much criticism off late of our profession however these stereotypes lack the full picture of the profession and the lives that have been changed because of the influence of one teacher who saw something in a student and dared to challenge a perception and in turn, changed a life.

I was so encouraged by all the presenters and those who attended the first Central Coast Teach Meet that I felt excited by the wonderful things that are happening in our schools and TAFE colleges on the Central Coast.

Perceptions can change and with time, one person can make a difference.

Until next week,

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