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What a Maker Teacher Does


by Sylvia Martinez -

I'm just loving the variety of posts here! Reading the last few weeks, it really made me think about the role of the teacher/leader in creative, hands-on classrooms and educational spaces. In these posts, we can see that teachers are planners, observers, catalysts, researchers, yearners, gurus, thinkers, and yes - makers! It's such a colorful palette of roles when compared to the perception of the teacher as a content delivery system and classroom manager. 

How do we convey this complexity to the general public? Or even more daunting, to parents, children, families, politicians, and communites we work with?

You all are obviously doing it locally by example, and by sharing these posts, spreading it wider.

It's an interesting dilemma, to exist in a space where people think they "know" how it works (after all, everyone has been to school) and yet the memories seem to merge towards a common misty memory of TV and movie portrayals of classrooms from Welcome Back Kotter to Room 222 and now Glee or even The Wire. In these classrooms, teachers who are inspirational are almost always portrayed as fighting the system - like Dead Poets Society, or idiot savants like School of Rock. In the media, teachers are mostly dramatic devices who simply act as a foil for the more interesting lives of their students who aren't allowed to really express themselves in the boring nothingness of school.

So even popular culture expresses this discontinuity between the boring, bored, and disconnected teacher vs. the ideal of connected, interested, and interesting teacher. Yet the first is the typical (and accepted) and the later the exception (yet yearned for).

The only way I see to change this is to keep doing what we are doing! Sharing these posts that illustrate the rich and complex story of what it means to be a teacher and what these learning spaces look like. You all inspire me so much!



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