The Storypark blog shares diverse opinions from educators and parents all over the world. Today our guest opinion piece is from the author of ‘Uplifting Early Childhood‘. What are your thoughts? Share them below in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!
The loud teacher quandary… When I began my journey in early childhood education and care, I had some amazing teachers to draw from, to replicate and emulate as much as possible. My philosophy did not pay homage to the early childhood theorists of the early to mid 1900’s like a lot of philosophies tend to do. My philosophy instead was more from my own experiences and beliefs, but largely from what I observed from those I truly felt were amazing teachers, practitioners who epitomised what being an early childhood teacher was all about.
One aspect of what I observed, I thought exemplified a quality teacher as well. I equated being loud, boisterous, and over the top expressive with being traits possessed by only the best of teachers. They were able to engage children immediately with their booming voices, often drowning out the music blaring on the radio, and the children who had all been engaged and immersed in their own play experiences. Immediately, they’d look over to see this teacher, filled with enthusiasm and a passion for wanting to teach children, to draw them into an adventure – an expedition to find a bear sleeping in a cave, or a quest to find Captain Yellowbeard’s hidden treasure.
What I didn’t realise then, is that I would eventually become the complete opposite. I was led by the wrong practice. Even though the loud, exuberant, larger than life, over the top teacher seemed like an appealing prospect – it has become the antithesis of what I would consider to be a quality of a great teacher. I was lured by the seeming uninhibited fun and dangerously high decibel range.
What I was failing to see at the time was the distraction the loud teachers were creating. Forcing the eyes of engaged children to turn, often breaking whatever thought they may have been having, or working theory they might have been developing. They were not only noticed by the children but noticed by colleagues as a stand out, a picture of perfect teaching.
So I guess what I am saying is – being loud, ‘fun’, over the top, and distracting are not qualities I would consider to be indicators of a great teacher. The calm, unassuming, aware teachers are the ones I admire most. The ones who restrain themselves when all they might want to do is ask a child ‘What colour is that?!’ The active observer, the teacher who just appreciates being there – in the presence of children exploring and inspiring their own learning – those are the teachers I now admire and love to work with.