Learn to Spot the Raw Material of Talent

A rose-cut synthetic diamond created by Apollo...
Gems don't start out beautiful. Most look like a dirt clod. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What teachers do

My personal goal is to look at every student and find something that student is very good at doing. It must be honest and true. Sometimes it takes a while to find it but when I see it, I know it. Like an expert gem cutter, good at recognizing the raw material in a rock, an expert teacher can see the raw material of excellence in a student. Over time, as your suspicions are confirmed are proven wrong, you get better at this and learn to trust your instincts.

But remember, that you are not a god, you are a teacher. You can share your opinion and what you notice about a student but ultimately if a student decides to pursue that area is up to the student and his / her parents.

You are a scout, an advanced party who finds gems. The teacher’s role begins here because good teaching starts with caring before content. When students know you care then you’re ready to teach.

This doesn’t mean you have to be a “softie” and weep daily at the injustices of their life. Some of my best teachers have been tough teachers. But deep down, I believed that they were knowledgeable and had my best interests at heart.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere