This is my response to Brad Patterson’s latest blog challenge, which can be found here – http://www.edulang.com/blog/teaching-metaphor/
Teaching is like climbing a mountain. Preparation is key. Like a class of learners the mountain and its environment can be unpredictable. Always take the correct equipment (materials), check the weather report (post lesson reflection+lesson planning) and tell someone where you’re going (observation). Don’t over pack, this will mean you have too much to carry and tire yourself out (think about your materials, are they necessary?) Keep your equipment in good condition, maintain it and upgrade when necessary. (Personal and professional development through courses like DELTA, in-house training, blogging, Twitter, further reading, action research)
Respect the mountain and its surroundings. (Respect your students and make their surroundings the materials you need, they have lives and a lot to say. Give them the chance to say it.) Pace yourself when climbing the mountain, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Why rush to the top and back down again? Enjoy the journey and wonder at the beauty of it all. (It takes time to become a good teacher. Take the rough with the smooth, learn from your mistakes and turn those experiences into learning points.)
When you reach the top, take time to enjoy the view and take lots of pictures. It will be a one-off and every peak will have a different view, as will the journey to get there. ( Document your teaching experiences, be it with a blog, a personal diary or just continuous feedback with your peers. This will keep it fresh, provide other avenues through which to receive feedback and allow other people to feel as though they were there with you.)
Don’t be complacent on the way down. 80% of all accidents that occur on Mt Everest happen on the way down. ( Maintain classroom management, keep your standards high and this will reflect upon your students, maintain motivation for yourself and your students by pushing yourself that little bit extra to make sure concentration is sustained.)
When you get to the bottom and your legs, back and shoulders ache, take pride in what you have achieved. Not everyone has the courage, determination and willingness to accomplish what you have just done. (Teachers are awesome)
The second challenge was to talk about something that wasn’t teacher related but has brought something to the classroom more than anything else.
For me, it isn’t just one event in my life that has sculpted the way I am in class. It has been a lifetime of experiences, ups and downs, good times, bad times and luck that allows me to bring something personal and unique to the classroom.