Being in the presence, virtual or real, of a truly great teacher makes me smile. And makes me think. What are they doing that is so good? For me, it’s the storytelling – they are telling a story they love and believe in themselves, spellbinding their students, and making them want to get into action.
I came across two wonderful teachers again recently. Both have been high on my list for a long time. It doesn’t seem to matter that one was right beside me in the classroom and one was on a stage behind a tiny piece of glass – both stopped me in my tracks, and made me, as well as listen to them, watch the way they taught.
Stephen Howell from Tallaght IT visited my school to help me introduce my 48 Transition Year students to the graphic programming world that is Scratch. The students wrote a post for the school news blog. Stephen told us about the world of programming in a way that was engaging, and made us all want to “have a go”. He introduced us to Scratch, and we had real fun with his amazing Scratch-Kinect crossover activities. He made us think about what we wanted to do next (the list is long!!). Stephen is a gifted and generous programmer, as well as an amazing teacher (and judging by my students reactions and evaluations, I am not alone in holding that view). Find him on Twitter @saorog
Hans Rosling (@hansrosling) is not a teacher by trade (biography), but he is a natural born educator. I first came across his amazing evidence based talks at the TED website a few years ago, and have since made use of his web materials (see Gapminder) when working with students and teachers. His most recent short video is called Hans Rosling and the magic washing machine, and it is a beautiful piece of teaching. He has a message to impart, and he does it so gracefully, thoughtfully and truthfully – just watch it here. All educators, take note; Dr Rosling – take a bow!