Budo, from Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, is credited as saying that there are two types of teachers:
Teachers who play school and teachers who teach school.
In truth, he stole that one from me.
But he’s right.
I’m often asked to expound upon this line from the book, which is one of the most quoted from the book.
For many educators, this sentiment seems to have resonated quite a bit.
Essentially, it’s the difference between the teacher who focuses on the classroom versus the teacher who focuses on the student. It’s the difference between the teacher who prioritizes the preparing of materials and lessons versus the teacher who prioritizes the building of honest, genuine, long-lasting relationships with students and families.
As a student, I could spot these two kinds of teachers from a mile away.
You probably could, too.
Here’s a couple good rules of thumb:
If your teaching methods closely resemble the teaching methods from your childhood, you are probably playing school.
If you speak to your students in a way that is fundamentally different from the way you speak to friends and family, in either tone and affect, you are probably playing school.