"Teaching is a Creative Art: Call It Human Rocket Science" --Jeffrey Pflaum
I'm not their mother, father, guidance counselor, social worker, or therapist. I'm a teacher. I teach: that's what I do. You hear that from educators, now even more so with CCSS, multiple standardized tests, and all sorts of assessments looming over their heads. You can't blame teachers for wanting to avoid nurturing students because they have enough on their hands.
But then I read an article in The Washington Post (5/19/15), "Poverty, family stress are thwarting student success, top teachers say," by Lyndsey Layton. The title says it all: obstacles to doing well in school are not always about classroom life. It's anxiety related to home, economics, which, in turn, can create learning issues and psychological problems. Surprise! Surprise!
There are missing pieces in teacher training programs. I believe schools of education are getting the message. Just as we talk about educating the "whole child," we need to do the same for our future teachers, neophytes first entering the profession, and veterans alike: educate the "whole teacher."
I had little education background in 1968 when I began teaching in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY, except for the Intensive Teacher Training program. I walked into the classroom knowing nothing about how and what to teach, but was rescued by talented teachers who taught school workshops in reading, math, social studies, and language arts, while also depending greatly on teacher guides.