Teach Hard or Go Home

One of the qualities of the best teachers that I have ever had is when they aren’t afraid to  make a fool of themselves or fail in front of their students.  They go hard. They buy into their silliness, and they don’t care if the students sigh and roll their eyes or join in.  I think of it as the one piece of being a teacher (you know, since we are so many things policeman, councilor, psychic, doctor, and many, many other things).  One of the hats we wear is performer. I went to a small venue for a rap concert one time.  The crowd was small, but the venue was nice.  When the performer came on stage, he danced and jumped around that entire stage, he was fully committed to going 100 and giving the best performance of his life even though the venue was only about a quarter full.  He did not let the crowd set the mood; he set it.  And song by song, the audience began to loosen up and dance.  It amazed me that one person could change the mood of so many people and influence them to do something they wouldn’t normally do. That’s the way we can be as teachers.  The students can come in with any variation of moods (especially if you are teaching teens or preteens), but we can be the guiding force of emotions in the classroom.  If you are going to teach something, think of a way to really get their attention.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Draw something and make fun of your drawing ability.  Sing for...