Teachers are identifiable. Many of us can look back on our lives and still remember, years (or decades) later, those teachers who had an impact on us. Their influence may have been positive or negative. Rarely did such influence remain attached to the classroom, but rather extended well beyond. One of the challenges that we face as teachers is the extent of our power (or supposed extent of our power), and how we participate with this sense of influence on others, individually and collectively.
I know, for myself, I have almost buckled under this perception from time to time. I have arisen on some days, wondering how I was going to get through a day of engagement and leading students, where we needed to be, on so many levels. As teachers, we show up as us, as individuals, but the expectation is that a singular “me” can, somehow, meet the needs of all.
Do you think it is realistic for each individual teacher to meet the needs of all? As a teacher, what is your perception of the actual level of influence you have on others?
Do you think your students have an accurate understanding of how much influence you have on their success as a teacher? What feelings does your answer evoke?