There are many diverse teaching styles and types of teachers in every school. The three mentioned in the previous post are mainstays, whether the school has a staff of 12 or 90. But there are a few more “teacher molds” that are out there. If you didn’t fit into the last three, maybe you are the type of teacher that fits here.
The “Rookie” teacher
Every teacher starts out as “the rookie.” However, the duration of this designation can fluctuate anywhere from 10 months to five years. The rookie teacher can be easily pointed out but in the same token almost always flies under the radar. You can smell the freshly minted certification of that degree in education as it oozes off the rookie teacher each time a student fires off a comment that wasn’t in the role-play sessions during teachers’ college. You know you are still in the rookie teacher phase when how you manage your classroom in front of other teachers (in the hallways, at assemblies, etc.) is not quite the same way you manage them in your own classroom. And if you manage them the same, then the thought of how other teachers are perceiving your teaching style, classroom management and all that “professional” stuff is largely on your subconscious whenever another teacher walks in your room. The rookie teacher is still learning the tools of the trade: how to react quickly to students, how to be flexible, and how to be the teacher they ultimately want to be. I always feel that students (and parents) are awarded a unique opportunity when they get a rookie teacher. Because unlike any other teacher, everything is novel to a rookie, thus they will always react with more compassion and try to go the extra mile for their students. It’s inevitable – they don’t know the “shortcuts” yet.
The “Veteran” teacher
Now, this is the other side of the “When I first started…” type of teacher. This teacher has paid their dues and logged many a year. But unlike the bitter ones that have become jaded by the system, the veteran is a consummate professional and has managed to stave off the cynical undertones that come with a decade plus of the classroom. The vet knows how the system works – everything from IEPs to running a Graduation. They understand how to best work with students and remain committed to the job they signed up for years ago. Although the retirement date is now closer than the date they signed their first contract to teach, they do not allow themselves to “check out” because they still ultimately care about the students. These are the teachers that really keep education afloat. They are not looking to move into administration, nor are they simply collecting their paycheck and leaving. They remain loyal to the pseudo fraternity of teacherhood (and union). Veterans will dabble with new technology and new trends if they feel it really benefits students and they will come to work to educate every day.
The “Perpetual Student” teacher
Energetic. Funky. Always on. “Crazier than the students”. If any of these terms are used to describe your teaching style, than you probably fall into the category of the “perpetual student” type of teacher. We need more teachers like this in education. These men and women are the ones not afraid to try something new or get a little dirty. And because of this, many students gravitate to them. Their personality of always seemingly “down for some fun” allows student engagement to occur more easily for these teachers. These types of teachers can be a little overwhelming at times – and it’s mostly their colleagues they are overwhelming more than the students! Our “perpetual students” may also be a “little light” on the curriculum on occasion but they make up for it in the life lessons and the quality learning experiences that the students get. I’ll tell you one thing, if your child is in a classroom for a year with one of these teachers, they will never forget it.
These three types of teachers are solid educators and indeed will leave positive indelible imprints on the memories of students who enter their classroom. For two types, “the rookie” and “the veteran”, all teachers will spend at least a short time embodying these styles. We are up to six now, but there are two more types of educators that are the soul of teaching.
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