All Teachers, Great Teachers

6:55 AM

I finished three days of staff development yesterday with an incredibly weird, but also incredibly talented group of elementary school teachers. We finished the event in a local western-style restaurant and dance floor, viewing the teachers’ video productions. Their assignment was to produce a video, 30 seconds to 2 minutes long, that effectively conveyed some aspect of how media has changed over the past ten years. The number one constraint was that they were not allowed to use any words, spoken or written. The rest of us tried to determine the theme they were communicating.

Videoing TeachersIt was digital charades, but the teachers had at their disposal any props that were available in their school and video editing software to craft their presentations — and they were enormously resourceful, creative, and hilarious.

Now the idea I left this small rural eastern North Carolina town with was, “No school has that many incredible teachers!” No Way!

It brought to mind a line from my first book, that I have not thought about in a very long time. It goes…

There is a thin line between being a mediocre teacher, and being a great teacher.

Among those that we blame for less than great teachers are schools of education, lack of effective staff development, and now it’s the credentials that define highly qualified teachers.

I believe that it is none of those so much as it is a vision of 21st century teaching and learning, access to appropriate professional tools to achieve that vision, and the time to retool classrooms.

Given the resources and time to succeed, I am convinced that all teachers can become great teachers.

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.