Sunday, December 21, 2008

Overheard at the Gym

At the gym this morning, I overheard a young man's conversation with a friend about teaching.

"I love teaching, but I don't want to be a teacher," he said.

"Why?" asked his friend.

"Because teachers don't really teach that much. Maybe ten percent of the time they teach. Mostly they do other things, not teaching."

I can remember feeling that way myself and saying similar things much earlier in my career. Teaching can sometimes feels more like managing, especially when you consider the time teachers can spend planning lessons and reviewing student work.

I feel a little different now. Sure, it's probably accurate that teachers are actually engaged in direct instruction for only a fraction of the time they're on duty. But even when a teacher is doing those other "non-teaching" activities, five year old eyes are watching, looking for the way the teacher handles disruptions, interruptions, and the unexpected.

They learn a lot about what to do and how to be from watching all that non-teaching activity.


Anonymous said...

Teachers teach all the time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this reminder. It will make me a more thoughtful teacher.