Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Teaching When You're not "Teaching"

I recently came across a neat quote by famed author Umberto Eco. He says, "I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom." This has special meaning to dads everywhere in light of Father's Day over the weekend. However, I believe educators can apply this to their lives as well. Teachers often have the greatest impact on kids not through the skill of delivering a masterpiece lesson on derivatives or five paragraph essay structure but through small conversations, kind gestures, smiles and words of wisdom imparted at opportune moments. The same applies to educational leadership. Perhaps no greater influence can be wielded on a faculty (or on individual teachers) than through personal encounters and conversations, handwritten notes of feedback or encouragement, thoughts on recent lessons, etc. As a good father must model desired behavior at all times, so must a teacher model for her students and so must educational leaders model for those whom they lead and serve.

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