15 Things I've Learned From My Students

Written on
January 31, 2020
by
Peter Hostrawser

99.999% of helping a high school student is basically letting them know that you really care about their success and who they are as a person.  In a high school classroom, it can be chaotic sometimes.  I teach business and my student population is diverse in many ways.  Academically, culturally, racially, socio-economically, religiously and more.  This can present a huge challenge for a teacher.  

In reality, diverse classrooms are a huge opportunity for a teacher!

I personally get excited when I have diversity in the classroom.  The reason being that I can learn so much from my students.  A teacher has to be humble in order to learn from students.  I have to give up some control.  I have to ask questions.  Most importantly, I have to listen.  A few interesting things I’ve learned from students in my tenure as a teacher:

  • How difficult the process is to become a citizen of the United States of America
  • Academic intelligence isn’t everything
  • Students are stressed out for many reasons beyond homework
  • Students often don’t want others to know they are smart
  • How strong many students are just for living life with the cards they were dealt
  • How we all need to learn and understand implicit biases
  • How much they actually care - which is a lot
  • How we can improve the educational system
  • Understanding the neurological development of the brain is essential as a teacher
  • The differences and similarities of the world’s religions
  • What it is like to have parents who don’t speak English
  • What makes a great teacher
  • School needs to happen outside of the four walls of a building more often
  • How we need to teach them to use their phone and not be used by it
  • How much we are all alike in our search for happiness

I sometimes admit, I have a love / hate relationship with teaching.  It is an extremely demanding profession.  The moves from class to class. Learning about 150 new students a semester.  Being there for so many in need.  It is truly difficult.  When times get tough in the school, I remind myself that I have the privilege of learning all these things about my students while I get paid.  I get to understand each new generation as they walk through the halls and attend classes at the school I work at.  I get to see a lens not many people can see.  

It all begins with me letting each students know that I will learn as much from them as they will learn from me.  


Peter Hostrawser
Creator of Disrupt Education
Change Outdated Traditional Educational Systems #Blogger | #KeynoteSpeaker | #Teacher | #Designthinker | #disrupteducation
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