An ode to Tony
"An attitude of gratitude", "Presence is powerful", "Hello happiness" These are the wiser words from my friend, the late great Tony Richter. He lived these in a tsunami of enthusiasm and self-effacing humour, he was deeply loved. I was recently moved when I overheard a pupil say after complimenting them with a simple, "well-done son," "not even my dad says that!"
Teaching is a strenuous journey of friendships, kindness and consistency. That's before any syllabus is covered, content explored, or management measured. Being an objective adult, governed by average social norms, creates a stable platform for pupils to feel safe. Maslow will always, every single day, win over Bloom’s. I love B‘s measures of learning, they help me strive for better pedagogy and deeper connectedness to my didactic, but they NEVER win over Mrs Roseveltd's, "they don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
My brother Edward, has some amazing parenting quotes, "try not to eat all the blueberries every time". I reflect on this powerful statement on the day he published his first book and try and instil it into every lesson I teach. It's ok to make mistakes, but try and make them less often. It will be ok in the end. if it's not ok, then it's not the end.
Tony emanated care and passion for education. Most of all, "being there". It isn't done until you do it. Get yourself towards yourself and get the job done, to the very end.