Hard to find, yet super sparkly when you strike it lucky!
I’ve been slowly reading through “What the dog saw” by Malcolm Gladwell and keep coming upon, what I call, ‘drops of gold’. A few words or a sentence that strikes you dead centre in the heart. Those words share a truth you could never have seen before without his help, and mean that now, you can never see the world in quite the same way again.
He is a great teacher.
A great teacher makes you think, inspires you, helps you to strive higher or to somewhere that you thought was out of reach.
In one article, “Most likely to succeed”, Malcolm shares a story of an Educational Researcher, Jacob Kounin, who defines other things that help make a good teacher, great.
One of them is ‘withitness’. This is non-verbal communication that tells the students that you are ‘onto it’ or ‘onto them’ (!) without ever having to speak the words. This is Presence.
Isn’t this something that we want in a teacher?
To know that no matter how much we try and bluff our way out of something or be disengaged or misbehaving or ignorant or downright scared or even in awe and believing we are not creative enough to do “that”, there is someone who cares enough about their students to be interested in what they are up to, so they can help them re-engage and learn.
Great teachers also take content and make it so much fun that even the most boring topic becomes as interesting as the latest fashion tip! They “value add”- topping up a subject with a dose of interest and a spoonful of creative thought.