A teacher is charged with a great responsibility – to educate another.
They also get to witness first hand the next generation and their changing ideas as well as the opportunity to influence them.
Personally, I’ve been a teacher for over 20 years now and find that opportunity an honor.
But as any teacher will tell you it’s not all peaches and cream.
There are days when you just have to shake your head and wonder why.
It’s frustrating at times to realize that no matter what you say or do you just can’t get through to some people.
I learned a long time ago that if a student has made up his or her mind not to learn, then there’s not much you can do about it.
The best I believe a teacher can hope for is to show students how useful and interesting a subject is.
Once students understand the value in learning the topic, then getting them to learn is easy picking.
This is as true with English as it is with other subjects like math or history.
What’s even more interesting is that since making the transition from being a teacher to what many people call a “life coach” (I prefer entrepreneurial educator) is that the same rule applies.
Whether you’re teaching business, health, time management, success or a school subject it’s always the same – 20% guidance and 80% application. Or to put it another way, it’s 20% teacher, 80% student.
That means a student’s success lies squarely on their own shoulders.
It’s not uncommon for some students and parents to blame their teachers for what is in essence their own personal failure.
That may sound harsh, but even if we are unlucky enough to have a poor teacher or one we just don’t understand then the responsibility falls to us.
There is no rule that says we can’t study by ourselves.
Even if you have teachers who go the extra mile and do whatever it takes to ensure their student’s success, it’s the student that in the end will be tested. And a test not only tests their knowledge of the material but of their composure (to handle pressure), speed (time constraints), accuracy (carelessness can be painful) and a variety of difference things.
A teacher can only do so much. There comes a point when it’s up to the students themselves.
As such, it’s important the teacher knows which type of student he or she is dealing with.
I find that students could be broken up into 6 categories.
- The serious students
- The “serious” students
- The A-students
- The for-workers
- The do-enough-to-get-byers
- The I-could-care-lessers.
The serious students are the ones who are willing to do whatever it takes. They do extra homework, they take detailed notes, they research stuff on their own and come prepared for class. Not only that, but they don’t let set-backs stop them, they know what they want and will stop at nothing to get it. These are not necessarily the smartest students but the ones who simply have the most desire. I have no doubt they will achieve their dreams.
Then there are students who say they are “serious” but are either too busy with other things in their lives or simply aren’t willing to devote the necessary time or effort to achieve success. Students who like to talk a big game are often the first to fall. Some do start strong, but they bolt at the first sign of trouble.
There are people who like being smart, the A-students. They like the praise and prestige that comes with it. They study hard, but sometimes miss the intangibles that the serious students capture.
Next are the people who realize the need to stay on top of their game, the for-workers as I like to call them. They realize the dangers of staying still in an every changing world and invest in their own future by continually studying. But they study out of necessity, not joy.
The “do-enough-to-get-byers” do just that. They don’t want to get into trouble at school or at work so they do the bare minimum of what’s required. Just enough to scrape by.
The last group is the “I-could-care-lessers” who simply aren’t interested in putting any effort in. Some have made up their mind that the teacher is the enemy or the subject matter is a waste of time.
I wish it wasn’t so, but having been an educator in one form or another for over 20 years now that’s just the way it is.
I know to let the serious and A-students just run with it. I know that most of the “serious” students will disappear along the way. I know that the for-workers will do well and that I’m in for a battle with the last two groups.
If you were to ask me what the big difference between them, I would have to say passion.
Those who want to achieve have it. Those who don’t, don’t.
Passion is a power unlike any other, and it trumps practically any skill because passion drives us to achieve anything we put our mind to.
It’s not something I can teach, but it is something I try to bring out in people through sharing ideas like the ones I share here on this blog.
Nowadays I’m blessed to work with some incredible clients who, when I say, “Jump,” they say, “How high?”
Some of you reading this might think this doesn’t apply to you, but whether you’re a manager, a parent, a leader, an entrepreneur or an actual teacher the same rule applies. As my mentor says, “You find good people. You don’t make good people.”
Understand that there are a variety of different people and most of the time they will always be who they are.
WE can’t change them, but through ideas and influence we can inspire them to change themselves.
So share away.