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Saturday, June 09, 2012

Learn to Spot the Raw Material of Talent

A rose-cut synthetic diamond created by Apollo...
Gems don't start out beautiful. Most look like a dirt clod. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What teachers do

My personal goal is to look at every student and find something that student is very good at doing. It must be honest and true. Sometimes it takes a while to find it but when I see it, I know it. Like an expert gem cutter, good at recognizing the raw material in a rock, an expert teacher can see the raw material of excellence in a student. Over time, as your suspicions are confirmed are proven wrong, you get better at this and learn to trust your instincts.

But remember, that you are not a god, you are a teacher. You can share your opinion and what you notice about a student but ultimately if a student decides to pursue that area is up to the student and his / her parents.

You are a scout, an advanced party who finds gems. The teacher’s role begins here because good teaching starts with caring before content. When students know you care then you’re ready to teach.

This doesn’t mean you have to be a “softie” and weep daily at the injustices of their life. Some of my best teachers have been tough teachers. But deep down, I believed that they were knowledgeable and had my best interests at heart.

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