In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where I was recently speaking, I enjoyed listening to another speaker’s session with the Cambodian school teachers. Anna Ridley, an enthusiastic and passionate teacher, said an incredibly powerful phrase in her talk. I immediately wrote it down. She said,
“I don’t teach a subject, I teach people.”
I was both inspired and encouraged by her conviction. She has her focus in the right place – she’s focused on the students she is teaching not on the content of her lessons.
My observation is that many teachers make this classic mistake – they focus so much on the content they are presenting that they almost forget about the students they are teaching. Excellent teachers understand the importance of focusing on their students first. When your focus and attention is on your students, you are more able to effectively deliver your content.
This week’s assignment:
Where is your focus? When you walk into your classroom are you primarily concerned with the amazing lesson you have prepared (i.e. content) or are you primarily concerned with the students you are about to teach? Focus on your students first, then present your content in an appropriate and captivating way. And remember Anna’s conviction: “I don’t teach a subject, I teach people.”
Enjoy the journey,
And more importantly,
Enjoy the moments.