Friday, February 5, 2016


You can probably remember a teacher who touched your life in a positive way at some point. Perhaps it was a third grade teacher who patiently helped you understand what the commutative property of multiplication was. Or maybe it was a fifth grade teacher who was passionate about literature and always found a way to help you make every story come to life. Or it might even have been a high school history teacher who dressed up in period costume for classes about the civil war.

Have you gone back to your school to thank that teacher?

There is nothing quite like the feeling that comes from being a good teacher; whether it's guiding children to a better understanding, sharing one's passion for a particular topic, compensating for a child's tough home life by caring a little bit more, or helping a student develop a growth mindset when they say they'll never understand fractions. Being part of a classroom full  of children for a year is an amazing experience.

It's not easy though, if you want to do it right. It' not something you can do by reading a book, taking a single course, spending a year in a classroom with a practicing teacher or just doing what comes naturally. Being a good teacher and getting the most fulfillment out of it involves a rigorous, challenging but incredibly rewarding intellectual process of thinking, reflecting, acting and developing the professional dispositions of a teacher. It involves having a good understanding of what you will teach, a practical grasp of how children develop and learn and the accumulation of a toolbox of teaching strategies you can call upon when needed.

A great place to do this is in the undergraduate or graduate programs at St. Michael' College where theory and practice are integrated in a way that enables you to be the best you can be.      


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