During my first session as a teacher educator I always ask my students to think back to a really good teacher from the time they themselves were pupils or students. Then, I ask them to name an essential characteristic of this ideal teacher. Usually, the majority of my trainee teachers come up with personal characteristics such as humour, flexibility, trust, integrity, commitment, positive attitude.
Isn’t it interesting that such qualities are hardly ever discussed in the literature on teaching and teacher education? Shouldn’t we show the importance of our own identities as teachers and how they are related to our actual professional behaviour?
Please share your thoughts with us.
“ Consciously, we teach what we know; unconsciously, we teach who we are.” Hamacheck (1999, p.209)
Interesting. I thought the quote will be more accurate if it says ‘…., we teach who we think we are.’ Because the thoughts we have inside of us are actually judgements about ourself: everything between I’m a loving person and I’m a bad person. They are all just thoughts in the form of believes. Truth is: I’m an innocent child of the universe and it matters that I’m here (there are no mistakes).
It’s not only believe systems we have about ourself. What about others? What about the world? And god to name a few big ones. As a university teacher I realise that I demonstrate to my studentes (in my behaviour) what I believe. So, be careful what you believe because that is what you demonstrate and that is what they will remember about you. How you made them feel. Teachers, know yourself.