Educators Need A GGG Approach
Years ago 3G technology was a very desirable upgrade for cell phones. (The term 3G of course, simply meant third generation wireless technology). Today our phones utilize what the industry calls fourth generation (4G) technology, and the tech companies say they are on schedule for phones to be 5G perhaps as early as 2018.
But this column is not about technology.
It is about 3G, yes, but it’s not about technology.
That’s because the 3G I speak of is simply an acronym (GGG) to remember three important approaches necessary in schools.
Those who work with students need to be giving, need to be people of good cheer and must be committed to providing guidance and instruction to the next generation.
Giving, good cheer, and guidance are three items that just happen to begin with a G. They also represent a synopsis of what the teaching profession is all about.
Let me explain. Teachers are called upon to do much more than earn their salary. To do the job right, teachers and administrators alike must be extremely giving — not in a financial sense — but in their level of dedication.
Giving for educators means they pour themselves into their work. And they do it from deep down inside, because, quite simply, a halfhearted approach will never work in education.
There is a story about three bricklayers on a construction site who had three different perspectives.
One said his work was about earning a paycheck. A second one described his work as laying brick.
When the third one was asked what he was doing, he responded, “I’m building a cathedral.”
Of all three outlooks, it is obvious that the third bricklayer had a vision of the future and realized his work had a great purpose.
Education requires the same vision, because to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s world, teachers must be, in essence, “cathedral-builders.”
Society cannot afford to have educators just collecting their pay. Their job is far too important and requires a deep conviction and a sense of mission.
The second G required of educators (and for people in most professions) is good cheer.
When the work environment isn’t pleasant at a school, there is usually more than one reason why, and one of those reasons could be that some of the teachers have grown disheartened, irritated, sour or bitter.
When people give in to those feelings, toxic attitudes tend to spread throughout a school or a business or an organization or a church. Frankly, a drastic fall in morale can happen anywhere we allow negativity to take root.
To prevent such a scenario, it is tremendously important to approach each day with good cheer and a desire to be uplifting.
Educators are no different than people in any profession. They must avoid the temptation to be negative, and should be positive and encouraging to everyone there.
Dr. Anthony Muhammad is a former school administrator who has written extensively about the culture of schools. He said that when people engage in what he calls “adult drama” at work, it can be detrimental for everyone there.
In schools, he said “adult drama” can be even more problematic because it ultimately ends up hurting children.
The final G means educators must be committed to providing guidance and instruction to the learners entrusted to their care.
I like to think of teachers as guides because being a guide implies that they do much more than simply cover material in class.
In fact, teachers are to guide students on to success in life, and that includes far more than providing an academic foundation.
Some writers today have referred to teachers being either a “sage on the stage” or a “guide by the side.” Many teachers were traditionally the former, providing much instruction in a lecture-type format. Today teachers must do more of the latter, working right alongside pupils, guiding them on their quest to learn.
When a teacher is very giving, is a person of good cheer, and assumes the role of being a “guide by the side,” it is not just a 3G acronym and it is not just a teaching style. It’s what our children need.
DAVID WILSON, EDD, OF SPRINGDALE, IS A WRITER, CONSULTANT AND PRESENTER, WHO GREW UP IN ARKANSAS BUT WORKED 27 YEARS IN EDUCATION IN MISSOURI. YOU MAY E-MAIL HIM AT DWNOTES@HOTMAIL.COM. THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR.