Cookie cutter teachers

As professionals, teachers are really good at appreciating individuals in a class, at differentiating according to readiness or interest, and at making adjustments for students that take into account their varied home lives, backgrounds, health and a multitude of other issues. Teachers generally have some training in behavioural psychology and understand the A-B-C model of looking at what causes a behaviour. (See the chart here)

But when it comes to teachers dealing with other teachers, how often are we as compassionate and understanding? How often do we expect teachers to all be cut from the same cookie cutter just because that makes organising the workforce easier?

So a teacher had a lesson where there was busy work, students were too noisy, they didn’t record the roll electronically as they were meant to and then they used a previous test out of the shared area that was incorrectly aligned to curriculum standards. 

Do you yell at them and tell them to lift their game? Do you call them unprofessional and lazy? Do you threaten them with legal or disciplinary action as they didn’t met the grade? Do you badmouth them, humiliate them and say you can’t believe there are still people who teach like that? 

Dr Jane Kise says “there are no reluctant teachers, just those whose needs have not yet been met in the change process.”

Does the teacher need more time? A mentor? Professional development and upskilling? Someone to sit down and explain the new online system to them? A collaborative faculty to share how they design tasks to align to standards? A staff handbook? A day off to deal with health or family? Some one to talk to them with compassion and understanding and make them feel part of the work place? 

Sometimes, it’s worth treating teachers like students and remembering that no two people are from the same cookie cutter.


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