Friday Thoughts: Being Present
During my classroom observations this week, I stopped by a few classes while they were watching a movie, and I was reminded of this from Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess:
I missed a couple days of school recently and had my substitute teacher show a video. Upon return, several students complained that it just wasn’t the same watching with the sub. I said , “What do you mean? The whole period was going to be spent watching the video whether I was here or not.” To which one of my students replied, “Yeah, but you always pause the video to tell us cool things and build up anticipation for what’s coming. You make little comments the whole time. We like that you watch and react to the video with us. It’s just different when you’re here.” That eye-opening conversation offered dramatic proof of the significant difference personal power, attitude, and full presence of the instructor has on the learning environment. An instructor who is fully immersed in the moment has a special type of intensity that resonates with great power in the classroom, regardless of the activity.
Let’s make sure we are fully present and immersed in what we’re doing every day. Any time we interact with students, we need to give them everything we have. Sometimes we don’t because our presence really does make a huge difference.
To read all of my notes, highlights, and key ideas from Teach Like a Pirate, click here. If you’d like a copy of the book, I’ll be glad to get you one— just let me know.