Teaching is being overrun by impostors. Perhaps I’m reading into something, but the explosion of “Teach Like a [thing]” culture scares me. Culturally, have we reached a place in education where taking on a persona to find inspiration for change is the best option for our students? Simile is powerful and inspiration comes in many forms. But when inspiration turns into identity, it becomes a problem.
A lot of the personas invoked in these discussions are really awful role models. Working renegade, above the mire of educational bureaucracy, might set you apart on facebook or Twitter, but institutional change – powerful change for all students – rarely comes from one person doing their own thing in isolation.
How do these ideas spread? How do we move beyond the 150 “best” ideas for X, Y, and Z? Where does the inspiration really make lasting impact on our practice and not just the toolset?
Finding excellence in teaching means recognizing teachers at their best: real interaction with real students. My students don’t want a viking, a ninja, a champion, or a wizard. They want a teacher who is genuine.
Let these ideas serve as inspiration, but remember that real change in learning comes from teaching like a Teacher.