The Way We Teach Should Be the Way We See Ourselves

Years ago, when I heard the retirement of the principal at the elementary school my children attended, I felt sad. He was a principal who really looked out for every child in his school. Now, it appears that I was simply selfish then. Brian Butler actually has a very important message for all educators to hear. Watching his webinar last night leaves me this impression. Much of what we teachers currently do inside our classroom does not often match how we see our own selves. I do not think we label teachers as "dumb" or "gifted". I do not think teachers think of themselves as individuals having a fixed amount of intelligence. Teachers talk with each other and learn from each other. Teachers practice discipline in their work. Lastly, teachers, I hope, prefer practices or strategies that work. Yet, in most classrooms teachers often do the opposite of these things. We label kids. We think intelligence is something we cannot nurture. We isolate ourselves. We forget the necessary amount of discipline we knew is crucial for learning. We forget the joy of being curious. We have failed to open our minds to see new strategies that are much more effective. We have failed to embrace the very important principle that education is for all, and that all means all.

Brian Butler's webinar is a must-see for all educators. The shifts Butler recommends are not going to happen in an instant. However, what may help is how we, the educators, see ourselves as learners, because if we only apply what we prefer to do to ourselves, we are already several steps closer to realizing those shifts.