EVERYTHING WE NEEDED TO KNOW TO SUCCESSFULLY “LIVE TO TEACH” WE RECEIVED AT TOWSON STATE
LESSON #1: Take DR. BAREHAM Science Department
Thinking back I remembered …White jacket, maybe a bow tie, soft voice, hands-on experiments, quiet humor, student involvement. REAL mental connection with each student when talking and listening to them. And the most important: he seemed to really enjoy his area of subject matter. And lo and behold Clair found a pic of him for me today and you can still see those qualities in his pic! I can’t find my year book right now so I really can’t wait to see the Memory Book!
One year while teaching at Neabsco Elementary in Dale City one of my past students who by then was working for the a/c maintenance department of our Prince William County Virginia came up and told me how much he had liked being in my class. At this point I was inwardly puffing up awaiting a heavy academic compliment and he said “Your glasses were cool. I used to like watching them darken when we went out for recess and then lighten when we came back in!” Ha! Ha! Poof went the puff! But for a long time after that ..it made me think..one of the many ways to connect with students was the "look" you created for your teacher image..like Dr. Bareham…check out his white jacket, cool hair, and an organized, interesting work area! How about that high tech science equipment back then!
Lesson learned: Use your looks, habits, organization and quality hands-on activities to leave your teacher footprints on the kids!
I remember student teaching in Lutherville and hearing that one of the master teachers there said no-no to student teachers having pony tails hair styles...and no-no to wearing flowery beige outfits..those teachers' beliefs made me want to leave my footprints elsewhere...but then I went down to the John & McMechan Streets school in Baltimore City to student teach my second 9 weeks and I taught under "Ms Polly" who had no desks...no graded readers...wore capes and boots..She would send me out to buy an aquarium and fish and set it up and see where it took us! So those two Towson experiences showed me what I wanted "not" to do and "what " to do. And years later when student teachers from Mary Washington College and other nearby colleges worked in my room I never forgot to guide them to what we learned in this Lesson #1!