Keep Calm and Shoot Straight
A Blog for Teachers
by Mary Jean Powers
Two Kinds of People
“There are two types of people: those who come into a room and say, ‘Well, here I am,’ and those who come in and say, ‘Ah, there you are.’”
Let’s tweak the quote above by saying that there are two kinds of teachers in the world:
- The kind who walks into his/her classroom and announces, “I’M HERE!” – whether boisterously, with seething silence, a sincere smile, distantly, or moodily.
- The kind of teacher who walks into his/her classroom, eyes opened and aware, and somehow communicates, “There You Are!” to each student. This kind of teacher gives full attention, asks meaningful and relevant questions, and treats each student as if he/she is of the highest value … because they are.
My friend Paula suggests a third kind of person: one who walks into a room and does not want to be seen at all; one who observes from a corner, hoping to blend unnoticed. Paula claims to be one such person. I responded, “Yes, depending on one’s personality, that’s true. But Paula, when someone approaches you, you immediately become a ‘there you are’ person.” “Of course, that’s what love does,” she said knowingly, as if that concept was entirely understood by everyone on the planet.
Becoming “There You Are” Teachers
Teaching requires that we become ‘There You Are’ people, even if our personality leans toward introversion or shyness. As a teacher who is ‘all there,’ my students will know that they are THE most important people in the world in that moment! I honor them by noticing them and giving them my full attention. During those inevitable times when my attention must be elsewhere, I honor them by clearly communicating that I have not forgotten them, and I WILL return to them as soon as possible. This necessitates proactive training on my part, whether by signaling them, or acknowledgment in their direction, or an understood modus operandi when someone else enters the classroom. As a result – and sooner than later – my students will understand that they can trust me. They will begin to reciprocate that same level of honor; I will have taught them to become ‘There You Are’ people!
It’s truly a discipline to become a ‘There You Are’ teacher, but unquestionably worth the effort and the cost. Yes, there is a cost to honor and love; it will cost me, me.
From the time the first student arrives until the last one leaves at days’ end, teachers are ‘There You Are’ people. Where do you excel at being a ‘There You Are’ teacher? How can you improve?
About Keep Calm and Shoot Straight
I am a teacher. You, too? I hope you love the profession as much as I do! I was 16 when I got my first teaching gigs – I had 20 private piano students and a Sunday School class of 4 and 5-year olds! At that point in my “career,” my definition of teacher was very limited. But now – after 45+ years of experience – I have come to realize that teacher can mean many different things. I’d like to share some of those insights with you! My posts will range from quotes to prayers, from cartoons to words of wisdom. Much of my teaching experience has been international, so you'll get to watch some video stories from around the globe. Jesus is the best Teacher I know, so I will be including Him in this blog, as well. I hope my thoughts and my story will encourage, provoke, and inspire you to become the teacher you’ve been created to be!
For comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mary Jean Powers
B.A. in Christian Education
M.A. in Biblical Studies
Music teacher (band and choir
International Bible teacher fo
Certified Walk Thru the Bible
Certified TESL International I
CEU Provider for ACSI (Associa
Certified Life Coach and Chapl
Who am I? A teacher coming alo