The Secret of Teaching: The Student!

22 Nov

Although I have poked some fun at Physical Education teachers lately, no one knows better than a Phys. Ed. teacher what the real secret of teaching is.

The secret to teaching in the public schools is really all about being a good public school student. The better your students are the better your teachers are and the better your school becomes.

In sports the better your players are, the smarter your coach becomes. You can change managers all you want until you find the smartest one in the world but he still won’t be able to make the Kansas City Royals win their division, but get better players and hang on to the good ones you’ve got and before you know it you’ve got a championship team.

Good students just like good ball players are developed over time and for a student to be successful it takes that student’s personal commitment to succeed more than it takes another person’s personal commitment to make that student succeed.

That really is all there is to the secret of teaching, and coaching, as well. Certainly good, knowledgeable and dedicated teachers who can show students the way are important but unless their students pay attention, work hard and personally dedicate themselves to succeed, we’re all just on a bad team waiting for the season to end.

I once had a student who came to school every day with a tennis ball. That was it; just he and his tennis ball which he liked to bounce a lot. What do you figure he was thinking or looking to learn? Unfortunately, I was not the tennis coach and the class was not part of the tennis team…of course I took it away (In case you were going to suggest that?) but he just got another one. He was very good at that.

And I had other students over the years just like him who would bring various and sundry objects to school but hardly ever their books and pencils and paper etc.

I often wonder about the parents who send their kids off to school this way? What are they thinking their children are going to be doing in school when they leave their home so obviously unprepared?

What do you suppose is their lesson plan for their children’s success?

When it comes to education and coaching too, everybody needs a plan for winning, not just the teachers and the coaches. That’s the real secret.

10 Responses to “The Secret of Teaching: The Student!”

  1. NO ULTERIOR MOTIVE November 22, 2012 at 4:49 am #

    Bull’s-eye…”everybody needs a plan”, parents included. I’ve maintained, and this comment has gotten me in trouble with parents that have full time nannies and baby sitters, that when you don’t have 2 full time parents you’re going to have kids that are full time trouble. There are exceptions to this, of course, but for the most part I’m confident I’m right. If I’m wrong, I’m Superman and my wife is Wonder Woman. When parents provide full time leadership, for their children, combined with solid leadership from teachers and coaches, etc. kids will not have to be pushed to “do right.” It’s always easier to lead someone, by example, than to push them. Sorry, I didn’t mean to lecture, but you hit the bull’s-eye, you hit a nerve, and I just had to say this.

  2. passionwriting November 22, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    this was a good insight into the teaching ways….!

  3. Robert-preneur November 22, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    Agree! It’s a coincidence that I just saw John Ratzenberger on TV today talking about the need to bring the trades back to secondary ed. What we normally think of as bad students are often great students when it comes to a trade. One of my students hates academics but could spend endless hours customizing a ’69 Shelby. He could be a fantastic student under the right conditions. What Ratzenberger was warning is that we are going to experience a severe shortage of skilled tradesman within the next decade if something doesn’t change. So let’s get these kids plumbing, building houses, doing electrical, and fixing cars and trucks!
    Happy Thanksgiving
    Warmth and Peace

  4. Kelly November 22, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Hi, Robert.

    In the UK, that’s exactly what they have been doing – mechanics, plumbers, electricians, beauticians… the problem is, in the last couple of years, these kids have come through and realised there are no jobs. Even a lot of the self-employed adults in these sectors have really been struggling, so there’s fewer apprenticeships available.

    Just like there’s fewer jobs for the rest of us. We’re in a really crappy economic climate that doesn’t feel like it’s improving. And it’s such a shame when you can’t get these kids to see how they need this life plan. How they really don’t want to get to their late 20/30s and realise they’ve done things the wrong way around… but, in the end, you can’t make anyone be or do anything but what they choose to.

    Sometimes people just have to learn from their own mistakes, even if nothing can be done about it in the end.

  5. davemanic November 22, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    It would be nice if parents actually had an action plan for their children, especially if there was enough dedication to ensure the plan was followed through. I don’t think this happens with the majority of students, in fact, I would say that when students leave for school, most of the parent’s are either asleep, at work, or starting to do one of the two.

  6. lederr November 22, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    “I often wonder about the parents who send their kids off to school this way? What are they thinking their children are going to be doing in school when they leave their home so obviously unprepared?”
    AMEN! i have kids that don’t even come to school/class with a pencil or pen (forbid an actual BOOK!). and, like you, i wonder how parents can overlook the fact that their child does not even come home with a notebook, let alone a backpack and never has any homework. i say this all the time, as much as the reformists and higher ups say the school and teachers (you know, those lazy, unionized teachers?) affect academic achievement (and those are factors, albeit do not hold as much weight as others), the larger piece is the home/parents/environment/economic situation, etc. they can teach to the test all they want, but it’s not going to change all the related factors that are out of the control of the schools-the home environment and parental involvement. i know you have espoused this many times. but, since you can’t fire the parents, go ahead fire the teachers if they can’t show an increase in test scores. that’s like blaming the doctor for your diabetes not improving when you are not taking the medicine the doctor prescribed or making the lifestyle changes as well. what if doctors got paid based on how “well” the cured someone when there are so many other factors??? sounds crazy, huh? we’re doing it in the schools…

  7. kidsandparenting November 23, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Reblogged this on Kids and Parenting and commented:

  8. kidsandparenting November 23, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Reblogged this on Kids and Parenting and commented:

    • gpicone November 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

      Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  9. winterflowers2 December 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Education – It begins at home and ends at home. As parent’s we are to prepare our children to strive to be their very best. I see teachers as the directors and we the parents the enforcers. They teach our students and we the parents have to follow through by providing the tools necessary for a successful education.

    Just my thoughts.


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