I resonate with many of Alfie Kohn’s perspectives, tempered by knowing who I am as a person, and the pressures of everyday life. My goal is to come as close to the ideals he espouses as possible.
Towards that end, I believe the role of the teacher is multifold.
First and foremost, the teacher creates an equitable, accessible, welcoming, positive, and enriching learning environment where all students are valued, held to high expectations, and inspired to give their best, in all aspects, and at all times.
Secondly, the teacher accepts all students for where they are in their intellectual, emotional, psychological, physical, and social development to support students’ maturation and learning, welcoming diversity in all forms.
Thirdly, the teacher communicates expectations for, and models, appropriate classroom behavior, academically as well as socially, so that students recognize and adopt behavior that helps them succeed, in the classroom, in college, in their career, as well as in society, in general.
Fourthly, the teacher serves as an accessible fount of up-to-date knowledge for subject, pedagogical, curricular, and professional expertise necessary to collaborate, plan, create, instruct, facilitate, assess, tutor, and reflect effectively for maximal student achievement.
Lastly, the teacher ensures they are connected to, and accessible by, students’ extended learning communities to include family, legal guardians, and others in their support network to enhance the effectiveness of all resources for student learning and support.