Doug Robertson (Twitter) teaches 3rd grade in Southern Oregon.
Here's his blog or media empire homepage.
I interviewed Doug because I read his book and was really fascinated by it. I have learned that not everyone teaches the same way (DUH!). But, also, our own life experiences have taught us and shaped us into the people we are today. To be a great teacher, you don't need to be like [Enter Great Teacher's Name]. Doug and every excellent "popular" or famous or movie teacher have two things in common:
- A strong desire to be your own person, regardless of the status quo or anybody else's judgments.
- A passion to help kids learn.
As part of this podcast, I want to start interviewing master teachers who are really great at what they do. I am especially interested in teachers that are great at making their kids enjoy class and learn life lessons, not just making sure they are acing the tests. ;)
Notes from my conversation with Doug:
- He used to teach in Hawaii, so we talked a little about that before the official interview started, but it was fascinating, so I included it.
- Teaching is a performance art
- Acting vs. Teaching.
- Importance of trust in teaching.
- What happens in my classroom happens because I want it to.
- To Principals: You hired me to do my job, now let me do it.
- Chris Hardwick
- How he takes away the opportunity to make excuses.
- How swimming helped him learn to stop making excuses.
- Why you can't keep complaining without doing something to fix it.
- It is OK to vent about kids. "But, my kids don't give me much to complain about." (That is because if they did, he would take responsibility for it!)
- "My classroom is noisy because it has to be noisy."
- "My students are weird, what am I doing to make them weird."
- I give two cents on why I like a noisy cafeteria.
- Some discussion on the term "digital native".
- We should call what we do "Practicing Education" just like lawyers practice law and doctors practice medicine.
- How being a good teacher and establishing the basics allows us to know how we can change things up as we go along.
- What kind of an environment does Doug need to thrive? Trust!
- How trusting students is an extension of the trust from administration.
- Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire by Rafe Esquith
- How to have your own style. Don't teach like someone else. Teach like yourself.
- Some kids don't respond well to the style of Doug's teaching.