Saturday, June 9, 2012

Types of teachers

There are a number of different types of teachers.  Support at critical points in careers make or break teachers.  The availability of this support is something that is often in question.

Who can supply this support?

Collegiate support is the first line of defence.  Supportive colleagues is important to navigating the issues of the teacher gaining competency.  A colleague with the ability to support another is worth gold in an organisation (not only giving lip service but also providing practical help).  Without that support I know I wouldn't have made it through my first few years of teaching.  I'm pretty grateful to these people.

The second line of support is friends, family and the community.   Without this support, a teacher could not have made it through university, much less the first year of teaching.  It's a hard time learning classroom management and tying together content, pedagogy and support requirements can continue for many years.

The third line and last line is administration.  The strategies available at this level are pretty dire.

For those with limited support at a family level, in schools under stress with limited ability to provide collegiate support, administrative support is going to be fairly limited and action fairly direct. The half cohort has placed a number of schools in this category - with considerable pressure placed on relatively few. Filling in the gaps from this point is predictable.

I have thought that is why teaching is full of assertive personalities that "win over" students rather than  those that have the best teaching ability (with regard to content and pedagogy). Teaching also has a few teachers hiding beneath the radar, giving good grades but doing the bare minimum.

I know that assertive and avoidant teachers are not all, but it would be good if those that were good at teaching, trying hard but not "assertive" also found their place through support at critical times.  These people could make phenomenal teachers in the right location.