Starting this week, we'll be running a series of reflections -- honest, measured, and sometimes bittersweet -- from teachers who are grappling with the question of whether to remain in the teaching profession.
I've found the more closely I work with teachers, the better equipped I am to help them handle the classroom. I translate the lessons I learn from one teacher into new ways to help another who's handling a similar situation.
By cutting out all the jargon and looking deep into oneself, we can look back on who we wanted to be when we were 8 years old, before we had bills to pay or broken hearts -- the days when we ran around the playground and could relate to each other.
It seems like an easy concept: if you don't know how to do something, ask for help. But recent research shows that a student's socioeconomic background affects his or her strategies for seeking help in the classroom.
Tom Roderick, executive director of the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, asked me to share my thoughts on teaching and crap detection. These are some of the things I learned from forty years as a teacher.
So what are teachers for? The delivery-of-content model of instruction doesn't describe all of what teaching is about. Most of what you really must know and be able to do isn't delivered to you. You don't need someone up there who knows all the answers to tell you what to do.