Steve Jobs once said:
The most important thing is a person. A person who incites your curiosity and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that people can.
I woke up this morning, checked Twitter and found an article posted today in the Guardian by Dylan William (@dylanwilliam) called ‘Love the one you’re with: improving professional development in schools.’ Passionate about professional development, my curiosity was piqued and I read on. The third paragraph hit the mark on something we as teachers know to be true…
Although the differences between schools are small, the differences in teachers are not. Teachers vary greatly in their ability to teach students what they need to learn. If you are taught by the best teacher in a group of 50, you will learn in six months what students taught by the average teacher will take a year to learn. If you are taught be the least effective teacher in that group, that same learning will take you two years.
In high school I was taught by an amazing, inspiring music teacher whose classroom, concert hall, theatre, wherever we were, was a fun place to be. I learned a lot about a lot of things. That experience guided, and continues to help guide, the path that my life is on.
Steve Jobs was right. It’s our job as educators to excite curiosity and set our kids on the path of discovery. We owe it to every student. As Dylan William said, it takes time and practice to become a great teacher. Start now.A good place to start – Twitter To read Dylan William’s article in full click here. The full version of Dylan Wiliam’s chapter, ‘The importance of teaching’, and the book from which it is taken, ‘Excellence and equity: Tackling educational disadvantage in England’s secondary schools’ can be downloaded for free from the IPPR.