Last year, I read a life changing book - Teach Like a PIRATE by Dave Burgess. If you haven't heard of it yet, it gets at what educators need to do to reach this generation - passion and engagement. So what does that have to do with primary teachers?
I had the fortune of getting to work in an Elementary School this year, teaching keyboarding to 300 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. The added benefit of this awesome experience is the fact I get to work with and interact with Elementary school teachers. Now, granted, I've only "taught" in two elementary schools in my career, but primary teachers seem to be the most passionate teachers around.
So what do I hear? Excited and happy voices. Students saying how much they love their teachers. What do I see? Students giving hugs, looking to help one another, engaged in the material, HAPPY to be there. Classrooms that are full of FUN. Now, some of this is definitely developmental (I'll be writing a blog post later on the System vs. Pyschology), but I can't help but wonder if these students are also very engaged because of the educators they have.
I find myself invigorated and infected (for lack of a better term) by those around me. Even though TLAP helped me realize I could be silly in front of students, being around primary educators further solidified this. I am even carrying this over when I teach high schoolers in the afternoon. By all accounts, I believe things to be going very positive there as well.
I believe that many elementary teachers, especially the ones I work with, embody the traits of passions and unconditional love for their students. They aren't afraid to get messy and be crazy.. I look forward to being in a building full of smiles and love. Sure, they are small children and they naturally love their teachers, but perhaps if we kept these teaching styles going, students would enjoy school a little bit more as they got older, and I guarantee the teachers would too!