Teacher/parent nights have become a part of our world these past few years and they seem to get more interesting as the grades ascend.
I always am eager to hear about the state-run curriculum handed down to the schools while measuring each of my kid’s teacher’s enthusiasm for what they’re told to teach for that year. This year was a bit different….
As my wife and I went from classroom to classroom meeting my daughter’s teachers, there was one that *really* stood out. Mr. Svihlik aka “Mr.S” will be handling the History and Social Studies portion of my little girl’s 8 grade experience. His philosophy wasn’t about making sure that she came away with all the correct dates and who was involved with what battle. Instead he was more about her learning time management skills, strategically arguing grades, and even to a certain extent, salesmanship.
As one might imagine, I was quite pleased.
Some of the things discussed:
– failure is okay, the earlier you know how to do it and bounce back from it, the better
– the problem with labeling kids as “gifted”
– hiring a kid who strives diligently for a “B” over the kid who effortlessly earns an “A”
– the immensely growing importance of trade schools
After we recorded this show, Mr. Svihlik reached out with some very flattering words:
“I wanted to thank you again for having me on your podcast and allowing me to share my opinions on teaching. I thoroughly enjoyed our discussion.
Like many times, I was reflecting on the day as I was trying to fall asleep and I was thinking about our conversation. There were things I wish I said instead or things that I was happy you brought up. Also there were times that I probably sounded like I was rambling on and then forgot what I was talking about.
But I wanted to thank you because teaching is a very thankless job where, apart from working for our administrators, we also have the numerous parents who email and tell us how we should do our job 🙂.I wanted to thank you because you truly made me feel like I have value as a teacher and I am doing some right things.I did not bring this up because I simply forgot, but when I was younger I raised my hand and asked the teacher a question. Her response was, “See Greg, that’s why your going to end up flipping burgers for the rest of your life.”That moment two things went through my mind. 1.) Who are you to judge how someone makes their money. 2.) I hope when I get older, I never make a student feel how she just made me feel.
When the kids ask me why I wanted to be a teacher, I often tell them that story and how our words can lift people up or can deflate them entirely.
The reason I bring this up is because I again want to thank you for your offering encouraging words to me about my methods in teaching. Again, I love and support what your podcast stands for with getting positive messages out there and encouraging people up with positive messages rather than tearing people down. So again, thank you and please keep up the good work on your podcast.”
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