I’ve always been a salmon among trout, preferring to take the scenic route and discover things on my own rather than taking other peoples’ ‘suggestions’. Having admitted that I can say that teaching with others hasn’t always been easy, especially when a team is involved who believes in a hierarchy among themselves. (Don’t get me started on the ‘Mean Girls of PLCs.)
One of the aspects of teaching that I have always enjoyed is the means of which we all have our different ways of getting ideas across to our students. It’s interesting to see what other teachers bring to the table.
And I’m sure we have all had the opportunity to enjoy these four teacher types:
The Perfect Teacher: This is the teacher who has EVERYTHING in place. Classroom décor all matches, everything is color coordinated, all materials are perfectly in the proper places. I hesitate to even walk into the Perfectionist’s room for fear I’ll become a bull in a china cabinet and upset, well, everything. I feel like the disheveled misfit in any proximity of this teacher type. Though he or she can be an effective teacher, there is always an air of stuffiness and unapproachability to him or her, not in a mean or condescending way, but in an I-don’t-want-to-mess-anything-up way. Though I do enjoy watching this type of teacher when students walk into his or her classroom, especially when fidget spinners are involved. Call me sadistic.
The Where’d it Go Teacher?: I have to admit, I am a kindred spirit to this type of teacher. It seems every day is a new day as far as misplacing items. And when I say misplace, I truly mean misplace-like can’t find stuff- at all. Even if you run a clean and tidy room, but feel like you have half a brain on most days. This teacher usually has a very, um, eclectic classroom, looking like he or she was interrupted on several occasions while decorating and couldn’t remember where he or she left off. Their inbox is usually full of work that needs to be graded and there might be a teacher’s desk somewhere in the room under piles of paperwork, newspapers, half-finished art projects and more pencils than can be counted. Students usually love him or her, but other teachers and administration sigh and shake their heads, not always understanding the method to his or her madness. Ahhhhhh, cheers, my friend.
We will find whatever we are looking for…someday.
The Prim and Proper Teacher: This is the toughest type for me to click with, probably because I feel so intimidated and inadequate, and it interferes with my free-spirited ideology. This is the teacher who comes into a PLC with nose in the air, frowning and wanting to accomplish everything that needs to be put into writing at lightning speed so he or she can be done with all the ‘nonsense.’ If you take a look at this teacher’s room it will be stark, with minimal items in it, and very few students who enjoy walking into this class, sensing that it may be difficult to form a relationship with this teacher. Although this teacher may appear stuffy, if you take the time to get to know them you just might be surprised.
Or sometimes not. Whatever.
The All Around Joe Saves the Day Teacher: This teacher is the saving grace among all of the garbage that we tread through as teachers. This is the teacher who is always smiling, always positive and can find the silver lining in everything. Some days we can’t stand this person, other days we are so thankful for them. They are laid back, take things as they come, the ‘stuff’ that trickles down doesn’t affect them and most students absolutely adore this type of teacher. This teacher encourages freely, smiles frequently and knows he or she is right where they belong. This is our go-to person as teachers, even if it’s just to moan and groan about something for a bit. This teacher is the one that takes the weight off of our hearts, gives us something to look forward to and provides a better perspective than what we are currently seeing. I love this teacher!
There are other teacher types, a conglomeration of personalities, each bringing its own special bit of panache to the table. And we need every one of them, even if we think they may be difficult to deal with or overbearing. We encourage individuality and voices in each of our students. Shouldn’t we do that with our co-workers as well?
And remember, you bring your own personality to the mix too.
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