why great teachers can't be replaced by a bot

Why Great Teachers Can’t Be Replaced by a Bot

My observations from the State of Georgia STAR Student and STAR Teacher Banquet

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.

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