[NOTE: This article was originally posted on the blog of the Durham Association of Educators. Click HERE to read it and view the photographs.]
“You don’t teach history, you teach a child.”
I can’t tell you much about most of my classes at the School of Education where I got my certification, but some teacher I had somewhere shared this little truism, and it’s stuck with me ever since. Sometimes, it seems, the catchy little slogans work. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t seem to be holding up too well in the era of the over-testing, STEM, and discipline-specific-instruction that has dramatically reshaped our schools. At its core, however, the advice my teacher gave me lives at the heart of every teacher I’ve ever known. Yes, we love the subjects that we teach (most of the time), but we really got into this business because we love watching young people grow and figure out just how smart and talented they are. We want to hear more about their lives. We want to give them solid and specific advice. We want to know that they can read, write, and think for themselves. We want to teach the child.
At Lakewood Montessori Middle School, they teach the child, and they’re proud about it. And they should be.