Being a good teacher does not mean trying hard to please an entire class. Instead, it is giving your 200% to the students who need it most.
Every teacher aspires to be a good educator and give their best, whether it’s lesson plans, homework or teaching methods. However, a teacher on Reddit shared a profound message explaining the difference between a good and an amazing teacher. u/waltgrace83 mentioned in their post on the platform that they were mentoring a new teacher. The teacher explained that they had been mentoring a 22-year-old woman who had dreamed of becoming a teacher since she was little. “I have been teaching for 10 years and I’ve seen some sh*t,” they added. The teacher proceeded to share an important message they stressed on while mentoring the woman.
They said, “Don't stay after contract hours, you don't need to go to school events you aren't paid for, don't plan lessons on the weekends, etc.” The teacher also added that while some of these things were inevitable in the earlier days, it is not a habit to cultivate. To emphasize the message better, the teacher proceeded towards a little reflection. They said, “What if your lesson was just ‘good?’ What if your test was just ‘average?’ What if you assigned homework just ‘sometimes’ and graded it for accuracy ‘every once and a while?’ What if, instead of giving ‘everyone’ unbelievably detailed feedback, you gave them a rubric and wrote, ‘See me at X time and I will go over your assignment in a lot of detail if you want.’”
The teacher was trying to lay down the idea that exhausting oneself for the class as a whole will go to waste, given that some students may not be interested in the efforts one puts in. They also stressed the fact that one doesn't have to be a good teacher to every student, especially the ones who don’t bother. The teacher then pointed out the concept of student learning and said, “What if you stopped trying to be an amazing teacher and instead just wanted to be average? Because the difference between a teacher that is 90% good and 100% amazing is not 10% more work. It is 100% more work. It is 80-hour weeks instead of 40-hour weeks. More importantly, this 100% more work only translates to a little bit more student learning.”
Elaborating on the same, the teacher explained that not all students will benefit from the efforts one puts in for the entire class. “The reality is that most of our students never read our feedback, don't give a shit about our lesson plan and don't do our homework.” Explaining further, they said that the students who do need one’s help and effort will come around and those are the ones to focus on to truly call oneself an amazing teacher. “The students who truly care will come and find you and you will give that 200% of yourself then,” they said. The teacher highlighted the quality over quantity concept.
It is far better to sit with one child and help them understand with extra effort than to generally throw effort out to a bunch of students who may not even need it. An amazing teacher is marked by the quality of teaching offered. The teacher concluded the post by expressing that trying hard with students who don’t want to be helped will result in them deflating themselves and is not recommended. u/Uniqueusername82D said, “I hear plenty of kids talk about the good and bad things teachers say and do, but rarely hear about an amazing or shitty lesson.” u/savethepollinator said, "Wow, this hits home. I’m a mom with a young daughter and I want to have enough energy at the end of the day instead of it being sucked out of me at school.”