When I was in high school, I thought teaching was easy. A teacher shows up, tells you about the subject of the class that you are in, and then you move to the next class. You either understand what is going on, or you don't. And if you don't understand, then you ask for help from the teacher. HOWEVER- now that I am in the education program, I have learned that teaching is much harder than I thought. THERE IS A LOT OF WORK.
Let me explain:
Teaching is not about creating lesson plans and having the best tools or resources to use with their students. Teaching is about inclusion, differentiation, and patience. Ayers draws the perfect scenario about the process of teaching two different students. Student A quickly understands the concept of subtraction and is able to apply what she has learned with little assistance:
And then there are students like Student B:
Planning, preparing, and implementing lesson plans are key, but a teacher can have the best lesson plans, have excellent classroom management skills, and deliver instruction, but are lousy teachers. Thus, it is not that a set of techniques or skills that makes a great teacher, but rather the teacher's ability to engage students, interact with them, and bring life to the subject matter that they are teaching. As Ayers writes, "greatness in teaching is always in pursuit of the next challenge, the next encounter...greatness demands an openness to the new and the unique. For great teachers, it must always be 'here I go again'" (Ayers, p.97). Teaching is a profession that should not be structured to educate students the same way every time. Great teaching is different and inclusive, and should be the fundamental element in every school. All schools should make continuous improvement a priority, nourish students and have high expectations, and be unique in regards to the work and teaching strategies in classrooms. In a way, teaching IS a mystery because you will never know what is going to happen next during class time (unless, of course, you have the lesson plan).