Teacher scribe's Teaching Tip #107
Five Ways to personally approach your students
The author steals five lessons on personalized teaching from watching Kung Fu Panda.
1. A child is not your copy. If you've seen the films, you know that Poe's father is a goose while he is a panda. Something is clearly off here. Yet, Poe's father appreciates their differences. Initially, he tries to mold Poe into a noodle chef, like him. However, when Poe has the chance to train to become the Dragon Warrior, he doesn't stand in the way. He lets Poe find his true passion. Now look at the other father son relationship in the film, Shifu and Tai Lung. Shift is too blind to see the dark side of Tai Lung's nature because he is too focused on molding Tai Lung into his version of the Dragon Warrior.
So how can we, as teachers, allow students to develop their own talents and voices, even if they are not in line with our own visions or hopes? When I began teaching, I had the foolish belief of being some kind of Mr. Keating from Dead Poets Society, where I would turn all of my students into budding intellectuals and poets.
Now, I know better. I try to show students how they can use my classes to fit their true passions.