Tonight was indeed a highlight of my educational career. My student, Eric, named me his STAR Teacher. He is a fine young man, and going on this journey with him has been an honor. Such a joy!
But as I listened (and live Tweeted) the comments made by students about their STAR teachers, some common elements kept coming up about the STAR Teachers as being:
- Passionate about their subject
- A person who sees students as people and cares about them outside the classroom
- A person who helps them see their future
- A person who pushes the students
- Making the subject relevant to the student's lives
- Seeing something in students they didn't see in themselves
- Caring about students and wanting them to collaborate and enjoy learning
- Asking about students and caring how they are doing
- Inspiring powerful conversations.
Every single student talked about their relationship with their teacher. How the teacher cared. That it wasn't just a knowledge although teachers were called geniuses and brilliant -it was more about the teacher as a human being relating to students as a human being.
We have to relate to educate. I'm even more convinced that you must relate to inspire, encourage, and push students to excellence.
As we talk about AI, we must talk about Human Intelligence (HI) and what makes us remarkable as teachers who inspire remarkable students. It starts with caring and relating.
It is interesting to me that out of the subjects I have taught Eric; it has been the film class that has captured his interest the most. But in film, we build relationships. We spend time together. We laugh and we learn.
He also talked about how I'll stop and help even when busy, which meant the world to me that he feels that way.
Teacher appreciation is coming up. And as I consider it, I'm reminded of how the best gifts are not things, they are the words kids say and how those words make me feel about what I do. That takes human intelligence too – the ability to make people feel appreciated.
I love something my student Eric wrote in his essay; he said, “We need to put down social media and go pick up our friends and go out with them.” Likewise, with our students – there is a time to put down everything and relate to others human to human, face to face.
I'm here in Atlanta tonight and will drive back early tomorrow, eager to do better at relating to all of my students. They matter, and I want them to know that each is a beautiful masterpiece with a powerful purpose. And that, my friends, is the message best delivered human to human, one on one; no chatbot can convey that sort of relationship-building language.
And as long as this is the case, great teachers will always have a highly venerated and revered place in this world. And that is what I'd like to be.
Never miss an episode
Get the 10-minute Teacher Show delivered to your inbox.