Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: Are You Living Your Life as a Mentor Text for Your Students?
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Slice of Life: Are You Living Your Life as a Mentor Text for Your Students?

11454297503_e27946e4ff_h“You are a role model.  You have to be the person you want your students to be – all day every day.”                                                   Rafe Esquith

We heard Rafe speak last week at ASCD and since then we have been thinking about his challenge for teachers to be the person we want our students to be. What if we all lived our lives as if we were a mentor text for our students to closely read? What would our students notice? What would they wonder?

The enormity of these questions reminds us of the power of a teacher. The impact a teacher can have on the life of a child. The difference teachers make every day in their students’ education and future. Yes, teachers are responsible for providing exemplary instruction and meeting high standards, but they are also responsible for inspiring and shaping the hearts and minds of the next generation.

It is an awesome responsibility. We think schools, and life for that matter, might be better off if we all lived as if we were a mentor text for those around us to study. What do you want your students to notice about you? What do you hope they will wonder? Do you live your life as a mentor text for the students you teach?

Living a life worthy of our students … we think that is an evaluation with an enduring understanding.  What is your perspective?  We would love to hear from you.

Teachers Matter, Kids Count! Tammy and Clare

Teachers Matter, Kids Count!
Tammy and Clare

7 Comments
  • Avatar
    Erika Victor
    Posted at 10:22h, 31 March Reply

    It is something that I often think of and try to aspire to. You phrased it beautifully, but it is hard to be “mentor text” worthy!

  • Avatar
    Fran
    Posted at 10:22h, 31 March Reply

    Wow!
    What a challenge!

    I think that fits with Kylene Beer’s challenge for us to deternine what our belief systems are and then to live them. I’m sitting here chuckling about the possibilities of living my life as a mentor text “. . . except leave that part out . . .” or “. . . can I have a do-over there”.

    I think if the caveat was “. . .live my life at school as a mentor text” it not only is possible but also “doable”. If this is meant to be 24/7 microscopic/fishbowl . . . not so much!

  • Avatar
    Lisa
    Posted at 10:26h, 31 March Reply

    I agree 100%! Most of our students will never know anything about our lives outside the school, so I think the life we show them in the school is very important.

  • Avatar
    Tricia Ebarvia
    Posted at 11:48h, 31 March Reply

    The enormity of this responsibility has haunted me even before I even stepped into a classroom. I remember reading Theodore Sizer’s ‘The Children are Watching’ in which he discusses the hidden curriculum and how much students watch observe/absorb our actions, more so when they conflict with our words. It’s a tremendous responsibility, and we should remember not to take for granted.

  • Avatar
    Bonnie Kaplan
    Posted at 12:27h, 31 March Reply

    Even though I’m out of the classroom, I am working with teachers who want to stay positive but it’s a challenge to keep going. So glad you are here with us sharing your vision and passions.
    Bonnie

  • Avatar
    Linda Baie
    Posted at 13:46h, 31 March Reply

    I’ve always written with my students, & in all the years it’s helped me become a better writer too. Just think if I’d missed that writing, just sitting & watching the students! I think students like to see that we struggle too, to get the right words we want to say, to cross out & re-write, just as they do. It’s a joy to make that community happen!

  • Avatar
    Tara
    Posted at 15:38h, 31 March Reply

    We think schools, and life for that matter, might be better off if we all lived as if we were a mentor text for those around us to study.

    Brilliant – that is exactly how we should see ourselves, for (I think) that’s very often how our students see us.

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